New England doesn’t really have giant trees; but we do tend to have any number of large and picturesque ones.  What always impresses me is why some of them can continue to stand.  This one, on the lane, is a big ash.  Its days are probably numbered because of the ever expanding road and the combined set of diseases and insects that are killing ashes.  These are bigger threats than the rather major structural failure.  For more than thirty years it has had the cavity in its base.  A few years ago, the spiral crack, splitting from the roots and curving up and around developed.  It creaks in the slightest wind, so there is probably quite a bit of movement.  However, since that crack developed it has weathered two hurricanes, several vicious thunderstorms, and any number of gusty, sustained wind days.  Any number of other, seemingly structurally sound, trees have failed in these events.  Would it surprise me to look out one day and see that it had finally ripped apart? No.  But it doesn’t surprise me to look out and see it still there.  Of course, when it does go it will be quite spectacular; the forces on it must be tremendous.  (for scale that road is a car and a half wide there, the wall is about 3 feet tall)