Still Learning To See

An old friend gone

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.

tree-05262

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.

tree-05261

Anyway, I miss it already.

 

This entry was published on October 25, 2016 at 9:22 pm. It’s filed under John Snell, John Snell Photographer, Summer, Trees and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

7 thoughts on “An old friend gone

  1. Ah, you know I share your love of trees, and while we understand the cycles of life, it’s still hard to bid an arboreal friend farewell. Across from my apartment was a beautiful Norway maple that I’ve enjoyed for the two years I’ve been here. However, new roofs required that it be cut down, and I appreciated the tree company for letting me give it one last hug and then save a branch, which sits outside my back door. I know “to everything there is a season”, but that turning should be honored, as you have done. Thanks for your caring.

    • Martha Snell on said:

      I have also loved that tree and feel a sense of sadness. Your tribute is lovingly documented as well as practical. More solar panals — YES.

  2. Thanks my fellow tree hugging friend!

  3. David Snell on said:

    Looks pretty bare.

  4. Dale Dailey on said:

    John, We had a similar experience recently when I had to remove a blue spruce on the front corner of our house. It was growing into the house and I didn’t want to butcher it with pruning. Fortunately, after we removed the spruce, we now have a clear view of a nearby sugar maple that is in glorious full color. But, it’s always sad to cut down an old friend.

  5. Kelley Taft on said:

    What a lovely post, John. So full of love and consideration. Thank you, as always.

    Kelley

    On Tue, Oct 25, 2016 at 9:22 PM, Still Learning To See wrote:

    > John Snell posted: “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 Bo” >

  6. Deborah Leu on said:

    Fond farewell to an old friend.

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