A friend falls


If my eyesight was any blurrier, or if we were still in the dead of winter, I could almost convince myself it is snowing outside my office window.  But, as it is, here in the late-ish of Spring and wearing my Dollar Store reading glasses, I can see clearly it that is not snow.  The other dead giveaway is the presence of chainsaws and hard hat wearing men swarming my side yard.   The snow that I am seeing is actually saw dust that is raining down from near the top of my walnut tree. Ultimately, the whole tree will be dismantled.  By the end of the day, all that will be left is a stump where my once glorious old black walnut tree stood.

As they walk by my kitchen window with the fallen branches, it breaks my heart.  Some of the cuts reveal branches so full of life that they look like they could bleed.  Other branches reveal the painful truth – the tree was dying from the inside out.  My beautiful old tree was sick and dying, and it had to come down.  To my inexperienced eye, it looked like it could have lasted another few years.  To my landlord’s eye, it was a risk to their property, and thus to their investment and  source of income.  It had to come down.

I opted to stay home from work today to bear witness to the falling of this great tree.  I’ve loved this tree for many years – even before I lived in this house.  When I lived just down the hill, I could see this tree from my bedroom window when I was lying in bed.  No matter what the weather was like, I could always count on this tree to tell me the season.  After a long barren winter, I could always look forward to the first buds on the ol’ walnut tree, and before I would know it, Spring was here. And it was always on time.  It wasn’t one of those trees that could get faked out by a dry, warm winter.  This tree had seen it all before.

I can now see my shade starting to disappear.  They’ve made quite a dent on the upper branches. The tree guys probably think I’m being a nosey old biddy peeking out my window to watch them work.   It’s not that I don’t trust them.  They seem very competent and strong.  I just feel like I’m at the bedside of an old friend as he’s dying.  There’s nothing else I can do but watch and document, and pay homage to a great old tree.


10 responses »

  1. in ani mate ? hmmm ~ well shez fire wood now ~ or ~ mulch ~ or ~ maybe sum bodyz new house to be. thanks for paying attenshun and leavin a trail.

  2. Even trees can leave an impact on us. From shade, to an ever present sign of the season.

    At least you are there to show some appreciation of that. I think thats all a tree could ask.

  3. Aw, its sad to see such a beautiful living thing brought down, but it sounds as though it was necessary. Will they replant with a sapling do you think?

  4. I agree with Ombud but we all have our lifecycles, right. Just sucks when we witness that cycle come to an end.

    i wonder what they did with it. I’ve never heard a walnut made guitar but I’ve seen some online that use that wood. Supposedly gives an acoustic guitar a unique, very warm sound.

  5. Thanks for all the kind condolences for my tree. Yes, it is a big loss. I promise I’ll get around to posting some before and after pictures so you can get a sense of how big and glorious this tree was, and the huge void it leaves.

    woo – we’re discussing what to plant in its place. Me, I would love to have a big redwood there (my neighbor has a redwood – why can’t I?), but my landlord says it would need too much water. But, I have found one of my old tree’s saplings that has sprung up in one of my planters, so I think I shall nourish that and see if I can’t replant it.

    Jules – I don’t know what they did with the wood, but I know they were trying to take it out in as big as chunks as possible. They wanted to bring in a crane so they could take it out in really big bits, but since it would have to sit on the neighbor’s property, that idea was nixed. So they had to chop it up in small enough bits to get it down my stairs. It was beautiful wood though.

    ybonesy – my landlord had noticed that huge bits of bark were coming off so he conferred with an arborist, who examined the tree. There was some sort of unhealed canker midway up the tree which apparently weakened the tree, and thus creating a risk that it would split. So, it had to come down. 😦

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