Mar 02 2009

The Last Tree

Published by at 3:50 pm under Musings & News,Trees

The last spruce being cut down in my neighbors' yard (photo by Kate St. John)On Saturday I heard the sound of buzz saws.  I never like that sound.  It means a tree is coming down.

As it turns out, all of the spruces in my neighbor's yard were doomed.  By the time I looked out the window a man was cutting the limbs off the last tree.  It was nearly gone.

There used to be five spruces, home to many roosting birds and nests of grackles, cardinals and mourning doves.  Before the power company cut down the locust trees at Magee Field's edge two years ago, a pair of eastern screech-owls courted in those spruces in late winter.

Not any more.  Slowly the trees closest to the alley died of road salt.  Two of the five were gone by the time a storm blew through on February 11 and toppled one of the remaining three.

The fallen spruce was cleared out within days but when one tree "misbehaves" the others better watch out.  The tree cutters must have argued that the remaining trees would die some day and have to come down too, so why not take them all.

Alas.  It'll be hot in my backyard this summer and there will be fewer birds.

My neighborhood isn't called Greenfield for nothing.

(photo by Kate St. John)


p.s.  How ironic that today is Dr. Seuss' birthday who wrote:  "I am the Lorax, I speak for the trees."

4 responses so far

4 Responses to “The Last Tree”

  1. Kristenon 02 Mar 2009 at 6:37 pm

    The city tree murderers really piss me off when they take out perfectly healthy ones. They slashed all the locusts at the end of my street a month ago. {sigh}

  2. Andyon 09 Mar 2009 at 5:19 pm

    My neighbor had to cut down a massive pine tree a month or so ago. A very healthy beautiful tree at that.
    I asked the reason…insurance fees. The insurance company demanded an outages fee if the tree was left standing. Needless to say, the tree lost.

  3. Allenon 23 Sep 2009 at 1:55 pm

    One lonely tree out in the field which shaded the parking lot where I live nicely.Then the tree murderers come and cut down the defenseless tree yesterday not hurting nobody or nothing but helping the environment by keeping it cooler around here.I dont understand why they did this?It was one of the surrounding factors which attracted me to this area where I live but now Im thinking about moving because now theres no shade.People who cut down trees for selfish reasons suck!

  4. Vinceon 17 Dec 2009 at 2:47 pm

    ( I wrote this a long time ago. I rarely share anything I do so I hope it’s appropriate and makes sense, Peace)

    When a Tree Misbehaves

    Sitting as a passenger, we tend to notice things that as a driver we never would. I’ve been on this road fifty or more times and with three hours into this trip and two still to go, my mind was really wandering. The sky was dark and foreboding, setting a similar mind set in me. The clouds outside gathered and roiled low, the way thick acrid smoke would collect on the ceiling of a burning house moments before descending down on its sleeping victims. The trees outside my window were covered in the perfect peppering of snow or rather a salting. From a distance the way the light and the dark contrasts played on each other, the large Sierra- Nevada valleys looked more like huge Vic Muniz sugar pictures and less like reality.

    Along this route, I’m passing miles of huge trees standing tall and defiant with heads down against the snow, cold, and road pollution in no discernable order. And it occurs to me that along this road from what I can see, there long narrow swaths of lively, viable trees cut from the forest and stretch clear out of sight. What really seems odd to me is how in place of the live trees there are planted dead trees. These dead trees are skinned and all flayed to a uniform diameter. Each of these also has a horizontal cross member drilled, bolted, or nailed not too far down from the top as well. Now miles upon miles of crucified trees stretch just yards from the general population of the rest of the forest. It just seems they were put there as if in warning of the impending doom that awaits the rest … don’t step out of line or you’re next!

    I remember stories of how the Romans would line the roads that lead into Rome in a similar fashion. Miles upon miles of crucified people conspirators, burglars, and those labeled as criminals all dieing while everyday people stand nearby with heads down trying not to notice and go about their lives. The people passing all knew that they were just a rumor, a whisper away from finding themselves on a post as well.

    Whispers from the halls of governments, industry or arsons all pose a threat to these rebels. Rumors of the trees conspiracy to over throw the earth and encroach on our habitats cannot be tolerated.

    The trees dedicated silence and constant aim for the sky makes a mockery of our own failing and convoluted ambitions. Their parenting skills call in to question or own. Under the canopy of greenery are young flexible saplings standing at their father’s roots, eternally encouraged to rise and surpass their own majesty, while receiving nourishment from the mulch of their fallen forefathers.

    While sitting in that passenger seat it just seemed to me, someone cut out the good trees and planted the dead ones just to say, don’t get too comfortable … step out of line and you’re next!

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