We lost a tree today. It’s actually been dead for some time now, but unlike dead people, dead trees often manage to stay standing for quite a long time. But today it came down with a chainsaw induced crash. I’m struck by some emotion over this (it’s not my first such nostalgic goodbye), it had to go, but it’s always been there.
We’ve lived in our home for 27 years, and the tree was here first. So that’s how long we were acquainted. It was a pine tree of some sort. I don’t know enough about trees to specify a particular sort of pine tree. But it had needles, and cones, and sap, and smelled like pine. That was good enough.
Years ago, we were visited by a young man who lived in our house before us during his childhood, his family was the original owners (we’re the third – did any of us really ‘own’ the home? – but I digress). This young man told me that for their first Christmas in this home, they had a live Christmas tree that they planted in the yard after the holidays. This was our pine tree. I wrote about it at the time.
Pine tree saw our three kids grow up, providing sturdy and evenly spaced limbs for young climbers, and plenty of sap to sticky them up to mark their efforts. Tree’s branches supported piñatas at birthday parties, and bird feeders that were quickly emptied by acrobatic squirrels. Tree’s shade was of a superior quality. Yet each year tree dispersed piles of brown needles which covered our roof, filled our rain gutters, and took out one hot tub pump after sneaking past the filters.
In tree’s shadow is a younger dogwood tree that I planted 12 years ago on an inspired arbor day. I wrote about it at the time. Dogwood has done well in Pine’s shadow, and will now enjoy much greater light, now that Pine’s not there to cast a shadow any longer. I’m glad that Dogwood will inherit the legacy of being the tree planted by one of this home’s rotating owners.
Pine tree fell victim to some sort of boring beetle (I’ve yet to ever meet an engaging beetle). Goodbye Tree. You will be missed, and remembered as your remains will be cremated in many driveway fires for years to come.