Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Do You Love A Tree Against The Advise Of All Those Who Know Better?

I love many trees and am fond of all trees. My favorites are often old or misshapen trees with more character than grace. Peeling bark, gnarly leaning trunks, odd growth patterns, and sheer size all engage my tendency to think of trees as living entities.

My favorite tree of all time was an old cottonwood that was taller than any other tree I have ever seen in the city and the trunk would need two adults stretching arms to encircle. It grew in a tiny square between house and garage that is typical of an inner city backyard. The huge branches grew out over the house, garage,neighbors yard and the ally posing a hazard to all during each heavy storm. Have you ever seen the cotton storm put out by such an old tree. I'm telling you very few loved that tree.

Luckily there are such tree lovers about in most areas so that a few interesting old/ugly trees find sanctuary even in urban areas. The neat trim and safety first crowd do not always triumph.

Trees die slowly over many years. Even the straight tall beauty will stoop with age, lose a few limbs,acquire scars and someday must go.

I can not help feeling we miss much if we never get to experience the end of the cycle as it was meant to be.

From seedling to the decaying stumps of the fallen, a tree sustains a great diversity of life and deserves what protection we can afford.


Blogger Colleen said...

I couldn't agree with you more. Beautifully said, and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing all of those unique, gorgeous trees.

6/9/07 6:58 AM  
Blogger jodi said...

I'm with Colleen on this one; you expressed this love for trees exquisitely, and the photos are wonderful.
I'm very fond of trees too, including the burled white spruce in our yard, and even the sometimes annoying poplars with their suckers and seedlings. Someone planted Norway maples here too, and while I don't like them, these don't seem to produce too many seedlings nor get too much tar spot--and I just CAN'T bring myself to cut down a tree without really good reasons.

7/9/07 10:21 PM  
Blogger firefly said...

There is a huge old maple across the street from us that leafed out only a little last year, and this year not at all. Because of the storm in the spring the city crews had so much work they couldn't cut it down right away so the tree has stood all summer with naked branches while all the other maples on the street are covered in leaves.

The contrast is really striking -- the skeleton of one tree makes you appreciate what is holding up the leaves on all the others.

Someone came around a week or so ago and marked the tree with an 'x' which means it will soon come down. The city usually replaces old trees with new ones, and it's nice to have a mix of saplings and mature trees, but I'll miss the old one, and I know the squirrels and birds will too.

8/9/07 8:24 AM  
Blogger Gloria said...

Sorry I took so long to respond to the comments on this post. I seem to have just spaced that I wanted to return and do so when I could take more time.
Colleen,Thank you. Those trees are mostly in parks in large cities. I love to walk around and find old small city parks. The trees can be very interesting. Here in Chicago there are quite a few that I have never taken pictures of even though our instructor has used the parks for learning seasonal tree ID.Must begin to remedy that before all the ancient ones are gone.

Jodi,sadly many trees are not used because of the debris they shed. Mostly because it hinders mowing. Since we intend to not have a lawn by the time I can no longer do a bit of clean-up that isn't a concern. One of my favorite trees is the Catalpa and I just love oak.
My sister in law has black walnut trees in her yard. Talk about mower hazard!
Usually Maple seedlings are a problem but this year I have seen few even with all the August rain.
If there was room I would grow several more honey locust with the double compound leaves. Makes great mulch.

Firefly, lets hope they replace the tree with one that will get very large.Street plantings if there are no overhead wires easily support large specimans. Too many small trees are being planted. I saw a gated community covenant that prohibited large trees, can you imagine.

11/9/07 12:18 PM  

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