Life of a tree

leaning tree
Leaning Tower of Mulch.

Today they cut down Rita’s Blue Spruce. It was leaning on her house. It was a danger. It was also beautiful and healthy and full.

Rita said when she and her husband moved in, 39 years ago, the top of the tree didn’t quite reach the gutters, so it was probably planted some time in the 1950s. This morning it towered over the house, an easy story or two above the roofline. Now it’s five inches below the ground, as promised by the tree service.

They chipped it down and put most of the chips on a truck. They left a big pile of chips over the hole. Rita said we could have some, to mulch our bushes. Start to finish, the job took about three hours. Or three hours and 60 years, depending on how you count.

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7 thoughts on “Life of a tree”

  1. We have a tree in our neighbor’s courtyard that is going to undergo the same fate. 🙁

    Trees are poems that earth writes upon the sky,
    We fell them down and turn them into paper,
    That we may record our emptiness.
    ~Kahlil Gibran

  2. Oh MT! Oh Chuck. That Gibran poem is magnificent. Thank you so much for sharing it! MT, thank you so much for sharing your post re: the lost tree. 🙁 John and I actually sat in the yard and cried when our neighbor cut down his giant oak. Nothing was wrong with it. He just decided to build a garage in its spot. We were crestfallen. The ultimate giving tree.

    1. A garage. Wow. I’m not sure which leaves me more speechless, that stunning poem, which I want to repeat until I memorize it, or the garage. That’s so sad. I’m glad you guys cried for it. I’m glad someone mourned it.

    2. A garage? Sad. Unfortunately, there are some fantastic trees in our other neighbors’ back yard, and one of them is looming over our porch/addition. The other is intermingled with our electric and cable, plus it’s dying. I worry about these trees whenever there’s a storm.

      I love trees, but it’s a problem when they’re planted too close to a structure, or they’re not maintained well.

      “Ho! Ho! Ho! To the bottle I go
      To heal my heart and drown my woe
      Rain may fall, and wind may blow
      And many miles be still to go
      But under a tall tree will i lie
      And let the clouds go sailing by”
      — J.R.R. Tolkien

      1. Another:

        “Do you see that tree? It is dead but it still sways in the wind with the others. I think it would be like that with me. That if I died I would still be part of life in one way or another.”
        — Anton Chekhov (The Three Sisters)

        Chekhov really loved trees. They’re in all his plays.

  3. “Blue Spruce” was the first compound noun in my vocabulary – We had an enormous one in my backyard when I was growing up – It towered over the neighborhood. And I’d repeatedly ask my father what it was. I liked hearing him say “Blue Spruce.”

    Bummer about your neighbor’s Blue Spruce. You should drink some whiskey.

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