The leaves turned a bright shade of red and I was thrilled with my purchase.
But come spring when the snow melted I was mortified to find the voles and mice had done a serious amount of damage to my beautiful tree. The bark was eaten clean through, right around the trunk. I did look for signs of life as the weather warmed but it appeared as though the tree was dead. I have given up looking over the last month, resigned to the fact that this tree had not survived.
As the grasses and wildflowers grow in the meadow area the trees become hidden so we are unable to see from a distance how they are getting along. So this week we did a tour and closely inspected each tree. This is what we found.
That looks like new growth on that tree. And yes, it's the oak.
Look at those pretty red oak leaves. It's a miracle! How did this happen? Well, the trunk of the tree has a flared root at the bottom and from that root sprouted a whole new tree. In addition, below the ring of gnaw marks on the trunk sprouted new branches. From a distance you can see that the entire top of the tree has died. Still a huge loss as this tree was approximately 5 or 6 feet tall. But the fact that it didn't completely die is amazing.
And definitely something worth celebrating. Isn't nature wonderful?