The Big Oak near Frautschi Point lost another large branch just a few days ago, as reported by Glenda Denniston. The many visitors to this area will be saddened by the sight of large broken limbs on the ground. Friday morning of August 28 everything was still fine, reports Roma Lenehan, who visited the area with a group. There were violent storms during that night, as you may recall. Philip Ashman who was there on Saturday morning, found the limbs broken.
Glenda has cared for the area surrounding the oak for many years, developing stunning wildflower displays along the path by the oak. The Friends planted the area at the start of the Big Oak trail. Kathi Dwelle remarked in her email of today "If one has to find a silver lining somewhere, perhaps the tree was self-pruning to allow just a bit more sun in for the wildflowers next spring. Fortunate that it happened at the end of the growing season rather than next May or many more wildflowers would have been seriously trampled."
Glenda and Steve Williams have worked hard for several days to open up the trail, so pedestrians wouldn't have to cut through the main planting area to get around the obstacles. Preserve staff advises that it will be prudent to avoid the area for a few days while they are making sure that the tree is safe.
Gisela Kutzbach and contributors