Monday, October 15, 2007

Tree house

Years ago, I was on a refrigeration service call in Branscomb CA, at the store. I was approached by a young man that related the problems that he was having with his household refrigerator. My opinion was that he should just replace it. He told me that he could do that, but it would be extremely difficult, because it was in a tree-house. So, I agreed to take a look at it. (He had me at “tree-house“. I thought, no-way am I going to miss this!)

He had started building it as a young child. His dad was a mill-right at the local lumber mill, and he had access to all kinds of lumber and do-dads that are handy for building tree houses. It was quite a ways up in a huge Madrone tree. He had built a rather elaborate stairway supported from the ground with posts. He had a complete small kitchen, a bathroom with a shower, and the rest was a combination of bedroom, living room, entertainment center etc. I remember that it had all kinds of angles that fit the tree, and it was supported from the tree with bracketed straps, so everything could move in the wind without breaking anything. It was very nicely decorated with couches and chairs, with lots of throw rugs and wall hanging tapestries. It reminded me of the inside of Arab tent, except for the huge stereo speakers that he had for his sound system.

Several of the major limbs of the tree went right through his house, and he had wind and waterproofed the limbs with large sheets of rubber that would also allow movement in the wind.

Later on, when he went to college he asked his forestry professor what he should do to protect the tree. He was told to never water it in the summer, because that would cause root rot. And, that he should trim any dead and dying wood out of it, and seal the cuts with tree seal to stop rot. And, to only do very minor trimming, because a Madrone needs all it’s foliage to feed the tree.

I think that it was the first time in my life that I envied anyone’s house. It was quite a novelty. I’ve often wondered what happened to it, and whether it is still there.