Thursday, November 20, 2008


We had an intimidating oak tree in our back yard with a menacing branch that reached out toward our roof. On windy and especially on icy winter nights, I would lie in bed worried that the branch would fall. Images of my husband and me being crushed under the weight of the tree, covered by the debris of shingles and roof fragments, frozen rain pelting us through the gaping hole above us, would keep me awake.

It had to come off.

Yesterday morning a crew came and hacked off the thick branch, hauling away the brush, chain sawing the rest into usable logs, which they stacked like a fortress at the edge of the woods. Just like that, it was gone. Now, the logs’ rippled xylem and phloem stares out at me like so many glaring eyes, planning a revolution.

I have to admit, I’m a little sad for the tree. To have worked that hard for years and years, seeking the largest portion of the sun, splaying protective shade on our back yard in the summer, showering us with piles of crunching leafy fun in the fall, only to face the betrayal of pruning? This was more than a mere haircut. And the Old Oak is feeling resentful.

This entry was going to be about how I will now need to work toward self-sufficiency. I will need to go out and get a wedge and a sledge to chop the logs into more usable firewood. But as I type this, I hear Mr. Oak gathering up his forces behind the barricade, plotting his revenge.

So, I’m sorry, Old Mr. Oak, for amputating your limb. I hope that we can work toward mending our relationship. What’s that? You’d like to have a meeting? On your side of the yard?

At least our roof is safe now, right?


Kelly said...

Was it just the limb or the whole tree? He'll be okay! We've had to take down a few dead or dying old huge trees near the house. It is sad. They are beautiful and part of the reason why we live in the neighborhood that we do. We have a huge dead tree by our front porch that has to go next...Poor tree...but tree choppers don't come cheap either, Poor us! :0)

Ann E. Bryson said...

It was a major limb, but I'm hoping the tree will be ok, since it's a frosty time of year.

Your neighborhood is so beautiful, and I love all the old old trees there.