This isn't a very good photo of the enormous maple tree that has stood between our house and our neighbors' for far more years than either family has lived here. It's not a good tree photo because this is a cropped version of one of my garden spots. I didn't expect to need a photo of this big, old beauty today.
But, when I returned home from work today, here's what was left of the maple, which, admittedly, had become an accident waiting to happen. The neighbors finally gave in to reason and reluctantly had the tree removed.
Age had taken its toll on the grand specimen. Parts of it had become hollow. It would have only been a matter of time before a large portion of it came down on the neighbors' car or house. In 1997, we had a heavy October snow--before the leaves had turned and fallen. Following the storm, the city looked like a tornado had roared through, with trees downed and limbs twisted and mangled and piled as high as rooftops. We were without electricity for nine days and our acre took a couple of weeks to clear.
The big maple lost some large and significant limbs then. Subsequent storms continued to strip away parts of its frame.
Losing a tree that has been a part of our scenery for the 23 years we've lived here is tough. This evening we stood with our neighbor and reflected on the life and demise of a significant part of our landscape.
As the neighbor girls played in the sawdust, I was reminded that when our children were little we had a professional photo taken of the three of them in front of that then-sturdy maple. It had not yet lost one of its major trunks in that '97 storm.
It provided dense shade on the east side of our property. But, as the sun rose behind it every morning, the rays streamed through it, creating an ethereal setting.
Everything in nature evolves. Without the maple, that side of our yard and garden will get significantly more morning sun. As I look ahead, I envision, in that part of the yard, more color in what has always been a shade garden. We'll miss you, dear maple, but the future looks bright (and more colorful).
Make it a great day!