Sunday, August 07, 2011

Farewell, Tree

When the city told me the sycamore in front of the house needed to be cut down I had mixed feelings.

In my mind, sycamores are sort of junk trees -- about one step above hackberrys. They're prone to disease and messy, and will occasionally decide to drop limbs, and not just small ones. The one in question had been planted overly close to the driveway -- which was the issue: a street project meant new curbs and driveways. Not a good thing.

Honestly, I'd mused on the possibility of getting rid of it myself. Still, the sight of the big spray-painted X's on the trunk was a little dismaying.

Friday morning I got a message from the spouse that a tree service was truck parked in front of the house. Duh duh duuuhhh. By the time I got home...

The front yard, formerly shady, was now open and sunny. Very open. Very sunny. It was a little jarring.

The tree men reported the tree was about 60 years old. At one point there were lots of sycamores on our block but they had all gradually gotten sick and been cut down. Ours was the last of the lot. As compensation for our loss, we'll get a voucher for a couple of new "approved" type trees, and I'm leaning towards red oaks. We'll plant them some time in the fall.

I'll likely be dead before they are the same size as the tree we just cut down.

Because I wasn't around when this deed took place, I wasn't able to get a section of trunk to use as a memento. All that's left is the stump. I'm told the tree men (or one of their subcontractors) will be back some time to grind it away, leaving behind nothing to show it had ever been there.

Call me maudlin, but I keep thinking back to the Shel Silverstein book, The Giving Tree.

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