Wednesday, May 22, 2002
My wife and I passed a sign for a town with what I found to be an amusing name - "Girdletree." Now, if you live there, I'm sorry - but I did get a chuckle out of that name. And then my wife let me know that "girdletree" really described a process I had never heard of. She said, "When I was a kid, my Dad used to girdle trees on our farm." Now without further explanation, that's going to get some ridiculous images going in your overactive imagination. Now, what she described to me was a process her Dad, and other farmers, used to soften a tree so it would be easier to bring down the next year. He took his ax, and he cut a ring in the bark that "girdled" the entire trunk at that point. The idea was to cut off the tree's sap delivery system. And it worked. The next year, that tree was softer and pretty easy to bring down. So, I'm not laughing anymore.