THIS LAST ICE STORM DID SO MUCH DAMAGE TO THE TREES ON OUR LITTLE PLOT OF GROUND THAT IT WAS BEYOND OUR AGING ABILITIES TO DEAL WITH IT.
The crew we hired to come in showed up Wednesday morning and began taking out damaged and and other trees suspected as potential threats to our house, and hauling them off. This needed to be done as a matter of safety and survival. It had to be done. Yet there was a sadness watching them fall.
Watching these men work was a marvel of competence and coordination. What they accomplished in a matter of hours would have taken me the rest of my life – even if I had the ability I once had, or imagine I had.
I can live with the departing pine trees that threatened our home, but loosing a beautiful maple, also near the house, that I had watched grow from 8“ across at the base to over 15”, was sad indeed. At least that wood will warm us next winter with memories of its beauty as well as the energy that beauty contained. I loved that tree.
I am not a “tree hugger”, but I do value trees as gi.vers and sustainers of life. Add to that their truly lyrical beauty and there is enough reason there to have them for their own sake. There need not be some branding as a commodity to demonstrate their value. Also I heat with wood and I have wood products in my home and I love living among trees. And I have a chainsaw and an axe, neither of which are my favorite tools
A stand of pine or hardwood is not “undeveloped” land. It’s just what it is supposed to be. There are those among us, I fear, who would “harvest” (an interesting connotation that one would usually find while discussing, for instance, the harvesting of beets) every marketable tree on the planet for money.
I lived in the south for half of my life. There you can grow longleaf pine to profitable size in about 40 – 50 years. If pulp is the object I believe that number is somewhat lower. Paper companies and others have thousands of acres planted all in neat rows evenly spaces so as to allow machinery to come in at the proper time and “harvest” them. This is an industry and it produces a product, employs many workers. And none of those trees threaten our house. Think dollars not Joyce Kilmer’s “I think I shall never see / a poem as lovely as a tree”.
But that’s exactly what I thought about that beautiful maple that split and had to be taken down. Obviously it was damaged beyond repair. Obviously it needed to be taken down. And so a lovely poem died.