Bondi Resort Blog

Come on into our Blog for a look at the wonderful world we've got to share! With over 240 hectares (600 acres) of wilderness woodlands surrounding the resort, just ten minutes from Algonquin Park, we feature over 400 metres (1200’) of waterfront and beach; boat rentals; summer hiking trails winding through fields and woods; 20 km. of groomed cross country ski trails and snowshoeing in winter; access to nearby snowmobile trails for sledders, and a toboggan hill for the young at heart.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


On Thursday afternoon, there was a sudden crack... then a shudder... than a crash.

An enormous branch had broken off a basswood tree near Springside cottage, thundering to the ground.  Luckily, it missed the cottage, and there was no-one nearby to leap nimbly out of the way.

That however left the rest of the tree -- over 100' tall, unbalanced and with an ominous lean.  Inspection of the broken region discovered some heartwood rot.  Not good.

We hate to lose our big trees.  We hate even more to have them fall and cause damage, so there was nothing for it but to bring it down.  Which sounds so simple, but isn't.

The tree was anchored to the tractor, well out of the way on top of the rise, so tension could be applied to coax the tree to fall "our way".  The thing is, the tree outweighs the tractor... so if things so wrong, they can do so fast.  Brian has a favourite story of the chap who, thinking he'd save some money and Do It Himself, elected to take down a big maple leaning over his summer cottage. 

Attaching a rope to the ski boat, he directed his 'better half' to "hit it" when he yelled, and pull the tree harmlessly into the lake.  The tree had other ideas, sliced the cottage neatly into a duplex and dragged the boat backwards up over the rocks and lawn.

Armed with that mental image, the boys took plenty of precautions.  And Brian does have extensive experience in felling timber. 

Watched by some of our guests, visiting from Ireland, and Taffy on a leash, the process began.  The big thing is to cut a wedge out of the trunk, in the direction you want the tree to fall before you start the main cut.  Even so, with a twist in the trunk such as this tree displayed it is quite possible for the tree to turn on its base and ignore the directive...

It went like clockwork. Thankfully.  The giant came down with a rush of leaves and a crash of breaking branches and stretched up the hill toward the tractor. For well over a hundred feet...  Big tree.

The Maintenance Dept. took full advantage of the celebration that all they had to do was clean up the firewood and not rebuild the cottage to clamber about in the branches.

"Don't think that was easy," Brian cautioned...  The three of them spent the rest of the day cutting and hauling wood to clean up.    A favourite of carvers, Brian kept some of the trunk for the local artisans.  Basswood is a member of the genus Tilia -- with about 30 different species. In England, it is called a Lime (not related to the fruit) which is a variation on the name Linden -- which you will recognize from the famous Berlin Street Unter den Linden. German mythology considers it the 'tree of lovers'.  Basswood can count age in centuries -- there's one in Gloucestershire that is 2000 years old.  We haven't counted the rings on our beautiful lost tree, but at that height, it's been here a long long long time.  In North America, these trees are called Basswood -- taking the name from the inner bark, or Bast, which can be stripped, soaked and woven into garments. Should you feel the need.

Flowers of the basswood produce an excellent honey.  The leaves and flowers have a long history of being used medicinally.  The wood not only carves well but is favoured by makers of guitars for its acoustic properties.  Beautiful, revered and valuable trees, we're going to miss that particular basswood at Springside.

  We're sorry to see it gone.

1 comment:

  1. I feel bad about the tree, but I'm glad it missed Springside. I have very fond memories of it (esp. the knotholes we peered through in the bedrooms).