"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Saturday, 11 October 2014

A Tree Fell on Holman

My son Mark and his son Mark and their  Good Neighbour Ron came to my house this morning at nine a.m.

By mid-day a tree  planted by my sons  Stephen and Frank when  Stephen was ten, Frank
was seven,Martin was eighteen months ,Theresa was the baby, Mark would not be born for another four years. after Heather  and before Andrew, was cut down and neatly stacked.

It's the second tree. The first went a couple of years ago. It had three trunks.This one  had two.

Both trees had been cut down before.

They were scrawny things the boys dug up and brought home from somewhere and planted within seven or eight feet  of each other ,four feet from the lot line on the left side of the driveway.

They didn't do well.

After a couple of years It was obvious they would not likely improve in appearance and they hadn't grown an inch.

I went out one morning with  my trusty saw and sturdy resolve and cut both to the ground within five minutes.

 I had barely turned my back and growth erupted  from the ground, with  many stems and leaves three or four times the size.

Like one might imagine spores from out of space would grow.

 They grew fast .... eventually with a massive combined canopy.They provided shade on my driveway and sun porch from early morning sun in the hottest heat of summer.

Years passed . They were tallest  tees in the neighbourhood. The cardinal regularly perched on the topmost branch and sang his song .Sometimes  for an hour or so.

First I heard him. I always knew where to find him. I would join him in his song. Didn't much care what the neighbours thought.

Grandchildren  have loved the trees. From the top of the maple in the rear yard. They could see the whole town.  They talk about it still.  I never saw them up there. But I've  always  thought kids should have trees to climb.

The trees at the front were in competition .Buds on Two Trunks broke open  days and then weeks after Three Trunks and leaves  dropped earlier.

Three Trunks had more dead branches and became more of a liability. It had to go. I hoped Two Trunks would do better.

 It didn't. It continued to look like half of a tall tree.

Finally the knell sounded.  Leaves fell in August.The top was bare.

We had our suspicions.

Ron ,the tree-feller confirmed .The tree was an Ash . It had been killed by the marauding Emerald Ash Borer .

I watched it cut down, branch by enormous branch lowered . Massive chunks of  trunk hitting  the ground with mighty thuds.

Seemed a lot more tree on the ground than upright.

Warnth and light flooded the sun porch as the tree came down . Even without foliage.

I thought how a limb removed  from a living tree generally means another grows longer and stronger
and how much work there is in caring for a tree.

I also thought it's a good thing  I didn't have to mess about applying  and paying for a permit  from the town and getting permission from the Council to take down that tree.

There's a Bylaw pending  that requires  something like that.


Anonymous said...

I am really pleased you got an ok from a tree guy before you took down your tree. There was very weird rules in Aurora about tree removal even if the poor things are dying by inches.
Hope you can use the wood. there are even more rules about moving wood from one location to another.

Anonymous said...

Too bad we cannot burn leaves anymore. Raking and piling the leaves was a family project that got everyone outside for a few days. Now we have the roar of gas-guzzling leaf-blowers for days. And soggy garden waste bags littering the streets between collections.

Anonymous said...

Presumably these are not heritage trees like a "certain three others" in town.

Anonymous said...

Our trees took a beating during that ice storm. The 2 old fruit trees and the walnut looked good and had healthy leaves. But not fruit or nuts. We called a tree place and were told that the trees are taking the year off.

Anonymous said...

At least we are going to have power this weekend. Poor Calgary.

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

Could you please explain why you put the # in front of that blurb ? I see it elsewhere and find it meaningless. Is there a reason ?

Copy & Paste said...



Anonymous said...

Thanx - just looks lazy to me but not important.