We have a small copse of trees up the pasture next to our riding arena. It includes a single moderate sized hackberry tree and a cluster of small thin oak trees.  I have no idea what kind of oaks they are but taken together they form a lovely small copse. The small oak trees have been dying off over the 15 years we have lived here. I searched my photos and only came up with three that show the copse.

The oldest photo was taken in the first few years we lived here and shows the hackberry and the cluster of oaks. I think I can count 10 oaks.

The next photo was taken years later and shows three small oaks with one on the ground.

The most recent photo was taken last month during the big freeze.  It shows two oaks standing but also seriously leaning and one small tree on the ground.

For as long as we have had goats and llamas, the copse has provided them shade in the summer. I've always liked having the copse there. It looks like it won't be around too much longer.  When the last small oak dies we will just have a hackberry tree.

Hackberries are considered trash trees.  They aren't particularly lovely on their own and they smell terrible when they are burned - hence the name. I don't intent to chop down the hackberry or burn it in the pasture or in our fireplace.

I will miss the little copse when it's gone. I think the animals will too.