Sunday, March 2, 2008

goodbye, green ash

Until Friday, we had a green ash tree in our back yard that was both a blessing and a curse. I loved the canopy it created over our patio, and it added some visual interest next to the garage. But its roots were beginning to push the patio up in spots, making it crack and bend. And over the years, it has been encroaching more and more on the small amount of sun we get in the yard. Our perennials had begun leaning sideways just to get enough, and the lilac in the back was barely producing any blooms. The lawn itself has suffered, too. We called an arborist and asked his opinion; he pointed out some problems that would probably mean the tree had about five more good years left in it. Steve and I discussed the matter and decided to have the tree cut down.

It was very sad to say goodbye. I am a softy, and if it had been solely my choice, I probably would have kept the tree a few more years and just had it trimmed and thinned out. But Steve felt strongly about it, and I deferred to him. He is, after all, my equal partner when it comes to gardening and yard upkeep. We decided that we'll watch our garden beds and lawn over the next growing season and see if there would be a better place to plant another tree — perhaps a maple, which would be beautiful in the fall. That feels like a good compromise to me. I went out and said goodbye to the tree on Friday morning. Yes, I even gave it a kiss and told it not to be afraid. As I said, I am a softy. When the arborist and his crew came, Daniel and I watched out the bedroom window as the yard filled with branches and debris.

All weekend, Daniel has been discussing the event. By discussing, I mean that he says a rotation of these four words: "Saw." "Loud." "Cutting." "Tree." Those are the things that left an impression on him.

I miss the tree, and the yard seems more bare without it; but I have to say, the whole space seems much more open and bright now. I am looking forward to seeing how our garden flourishes in the newly created sunny spots — especially the row of peonies down the side of the garage and the lilac in the back. I can't wait for the snow to melt and spring to come.


Ahuva Batya said...

This post made me so sad; it must be the drugs. I am sorry you lost your leafy friend. I think replacing it is a great idea, and can understand the desire for more sun in the yard. Your garden will thrive this spring!

Elizabeth in Mississippi said...

It is sad to let go of a still-living thing, but I'm glad that you made the choice to take the tree before something more substantial happened. More light, more options for the garden!!!

As an aside... my brother cuts trees for a living, so my two-year-old neice sees trees go bye-bye all the time (most of the time they need to).

Ask Kyra, "What do big trees do?"

She leans over to the side and says, "Ssshhhh BOOM!"

She can actually sleep through chainsaws roaring & limbs going down. She takes naps in the car seat in my brother's work truck while one of the guys keeps an eye out.

Anonymous said...

An exerpt from
The Trees

So the maples formed a union
And demanded equal rights.
"The oaks are just too greedy;
We will make them give us light."
Now there's no more oak oppression,
For they passed a noble law,
And the trees are all kept equal
By hatchet, axe, and saw.

Ellen said...

I know how you feel. It was tough to see trees in mom and dad's yard come down over the years. I think the hardest tree to see come down was that tower in front of the Fitzpatrick's house across the street. When I used to lay on my bed on a hot summer afternoon as a teenager and look out the window, it was relaxing to watch the green tip-tops of it sway against a blue summer sky.

kristine said...

Just think of all of the sunshine you will get now!!

Soupy said...

I am also sad just reading this.
Goodbye, old tree, what a good life you've had.

The Town Criers said...

This post made me sad too. I get very attached to trees and I tried to imagine our yard without my favourite tree. Good bye, Green Ash.

Anonymous said...

I was sad too. Like ahuva batya said, you will have a more thriving garden. Looking at the picture, the tree was awefully close to the garage, posing danger on the structure. Still it's sad.

- Susanne