I needed some more steel fence posts to extend the drying pasture just a bit before all of the grass has turned to brown. I could have gone to town and bought another dozen new T-posts but I suspect a bit of Scotch in my background. Instead, then, in the latter part of a sizzling day, I got my little Kubota tractor out of the garage and headed toward the old fence line along the trees on the east side of our property.
With a chain looped around the drawbar as low on the post as it would reach, the Kubota’s hydraulic system managed to lift most of the old posts out of the ground with no problem. Some needed a bit of budging but came free pretty quickly.
But on the two nearest the centenary maple tree, it was a different situation. Even when I backed and pulled with the tractor, moving the posts thirty degrees off vertical in both directions, I could not pull them loose. Even with enough force to lift the front of the tractor off the ground, they still would not budge. Finally, with the back and forth stressing the steel, the posts broke. I figured that roots had grown around the posts’ flat retaining plates that had been driven in nearly a foot beneath the surface.
I found confirmation of my speculation on the next post. Wedged against the top of the flange lay a piece of maple root, about as thick as my thumb. I suspect the roots trapping the posts nearest the tree were even thicker.
There are people and times in our lives, and we are sometimes them, when the things that tangle us gain such a grip that we cannot remove ourselves from them without taking some damage. But when it comes to things that enslave us, torment us and would eventually destroy us, the escape is worth the loss.