One of the reasons I love trees is that their lives are often longer than humans. That said, sometimes we humans make choices that affect the life of trees. This week I said goodbye to a very special tree that grew right behind out house. It was a male Box Elder Maple, a “weed” tree, as they are most often called and a scruffy looking one at that.
This tree taught me the value of even weeds, however, and I pruned it again and again over the past 40 years so that it provided perfect shade to the back wall and roof of our house, keeping us cool all summer long and making it a joy to sit on the deck and watch the flowers and birds on sunny days. An air conditioner with a considerable negative carbon footprint!
But it had finally gotten so tall that I knew I could no longer manage it. I also knew it was the only thing between us and a set of solar panels on the roof. So down it came, expertly so in the able hands of Sylvan Tree Care. The are a company that works with ropes and pulleys—and with great care—so it was great fun to watch them. They also had tremendous respect for the tree, weed or not.
The solar panels will shade the roof but I’ll need to rig up some sort of arbor for grapes and morning glories to shade the back wall and deck until the volunteer Black Cherry and the Bur Oak and Honey Locust, both of which I planted several years ago, gain some height. It won’t take long. I also suspect the Box Elder will be sprouting like crazy in the spring and probably for several years to come! It is, after all, a weed and weeds just love to grow.
Anyway, I miss it already.