So Long, Tree (video)

Fifteen years ago, Deb and I were hunkered down on our back porch watching a fairly routine thunderstorm. Suddenly, we heard a loud crack. Huh? It came from somewhere nearby. Not the familiar crack of thunder—more like the sound it makes when you break a large twig with your hands. The beautiful Bradford pear tree in our front yard had just lost a fight with the wind. It was now in two pieces, laying in opposite directions along the sidewalk.

Turns out that having the “weakest branch structure in nature” is just one of many problems with Bradford pears. But still, that tree was a part of what drew us to this house just a few years before. We could only shake our heads as it was carted away.

Cut to now…

It was more of a gradual process this time. One of the large trees in our back yard started withering. Over the course of several years it produced fewer and fewer leaves. Then it completely died. Even worse, it had become dangerously brittle—every gust of wind was a new adventure in scattered limbs. The dead tree looked creepy on our north skycam at night, like the cover of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” Finally, we got some estimates and put out the hit.

We lowered the camera to catch the tree-ectomy in action. I’d be lying if I told you it makes for an exciting video—but—if you’ve ever wanted to see a guy on a cherry picker fly around with a chainsaw at 10x speed, then today is your day!

So we’ve lost two of the three original trees from our property now. Sure, they provide valuable shade and privacy, but they also add a kind of stoic character that’s hard to replace. They help make even the smallest landscape unique. And that will be missed.