For the past three weeks Thursdays have come and gone with me hardly noticing. This has meant I haven't been part of Mama Kat's Writers Workshop for a while. It happened again this week, but I am slipping in late using as my excuse the prompt Yesterday I forgot to...
For the past eighty-six years two pin oak trees have stood sentinel in front of my house. By the time I arrived on the scene the trees towered over the house giving it the curb appeal that originally caught my eye.
Someone had the foresight all those years ago to plant two oaks on the front lawn of each house on the street. I will never know if there was a wise city planner at work or if the homeowners banded together thinking of the canopy of green that would greet them each time they turned onto our street upon returning home. What I am certain of is that someone thought of those of us who were yet to come. Someone put in the labor and expense required to plant the saplings that grew to line my street for many years--years they themselves would not be around to see.
For two decades the care of these behemoths has fallen to us. We have faithfully cut away the dead and dying branches. My husband doses the oaks with iron suppositories every spring. Time marches on and predictably the trees are showing signs of age just as an arborist once told us they would. We believe we can baby one of the trees through a few more seasons, but things don't look as promising for the other oak.
Despite a recent trimming of all visible signs of death or decay, we spotted three more branches this afternoon that are clearly dead. A pile of wood chips lies at the base of the tree. Lift the chips into your hand and they crumble at your touch. These brittle pieces of wood apparently come from within the tree, making us wonder what might be happening where the bark keeps us from seeing.
We stood a long time looking up at the branches and then circling the base of the tree in silence, neither of us wanting to say what we both know to be true. We need to take the tree down before gravity does it for us.
I can't imagine the hole that will be left when the grand tree is felled, but I know that it will not be permanent. We made a pact standing under the meandering branches. Once someone we never knew planted an oak tree that has provided us shade and beauty. Now it is our turn.
Our neighbor hates trees apparently. The ones near her house she complained loudly about until our landlord had them chopped down. A sad day really. I miss the shade and privacy. Glad to hear you will replant :)ReplyDelete
Oh, that would not be my favorite neighbor I am very sure!ReplyDelete
What a lovely post! So sorry about your tree. It's like having to put down a loved pet. We had a beautiful Mimosa tree in our front yard (as it turns out, they don't do so well in the desert) that contracted a deadly fungus. We had no choice but to cut it down. A couple weeks later, a Mimosa tree began to grow in my sister's front yard, about a mile away. We have no idea how it got there - she has no Mimosa's in her neighborhood at all. But there it is. I'd like to think somehow, that they're connected. Maybe on a visit, I carried some pollen or seeds or something, from my tree to her yard.ReplyDelete
Honestly, it does make you wonder if somehow you transported the beginnings of her tree from your yard. Great story!Delete
It sounds like a beautiful street to call home. I absolutely LOVE neighborhoods lined with trees that overlap. I hope that sweet oak gives you a few more good years. :)ReplyDelete
This one won't, but I have high hopes for its partner!Delete
When we were in Louisiana last week I feel in love with the many mighty oaks that are over 200 years old! It would break my heart to have to remove one, and I'm pleased to know it makes you sad too. To everything there is a season, and it appears it's time on earth is nearly done. Can something lovely be made from the oak wood, a bench or table perhaps? I am so happy that you are going to plant a new oak tree in it's place for future generations to enjoy just as you have. If only everyone understood that we are caretakers of the earth!ReplyDelete
I fear not much of this one is salvageable. The pile of wood chips at the base crumble to dust when touched.Delete
Wonder if Louisiana has what Texas calls Live Oaks. The bark on them is gnarly and has lots of character. We are too far north for them, but I bet Louisiana is perfect.