Wednesday, January 27, 2010

"The Story of the Trees"

The oaks and the pines, and their brethren of the wood, have seen so many suns rise and set, so many seasons come and go, and so many generations pass into silence, that we may well wonder what "the story of the trees" would be to us if they had tongues to tell it, or we ears fine enough to understand. ~Author Unknown, quoted in Quotations for Special Occasions by Maud van Buren, 1938

Years ago my ex husband and I traveled to Annapolis, MD for him to take his arborists license.  We walked the grounds of St Johns College identifing trees which would be on the test.  We came upon the Liberty Tree.  It was the first time I had thought about what a tree must have seen and heard in it's life time.  Then I had children and read them the stories of  The Little Tree Who Wished for Different Leaves and the The Giving Tree.  Since my whole family did tree work in one form or another, when a tree was cut down I only thought of it as a paycheck, lumber, or firewood.  
My younger brother still does tree work.  Along with tree removal, trimming and topping, he digs up trees and plants that are "blemished" or did not grow as fast as the homeowners expected.  He brings them home and transplants them in one of our yards  There have been dogwoods, arborvitae, blue spruce, crab apples, rhododendums and azaleas.  Some needed a little TLC but then ended up beautiful.  It has saved me a pretty penny and I am lucky to have this source available.
Along with the trees and shrubs he gave me, I have black walnut, hickory, butternut, apple, forsythia, elderberry, winterberry, nanking cherry, white pine, witch hazel and a chokecherry.  Recently I have been hearing alot of tapping.  Today, as I was perusing the seed catalogs I looked out to see this guy in the chokecherry.
This tree was already fighting what I think is black knot and for several years we had wrestled with the idea of removing it.  However, Spring comes, the leaves hide the cankers, it starts shading the back yard and we decide to keep it.

But as I sat there, I was very concious of the woodpecker wrecking havoc on the tree.  I went out to look and there are large holes in the limbs and upper trunk of the tree.  I don't need one breaking off in a wind/snow storm and hitting the cars or kids.  I guess Mr. Woodpecker was letting me know that this has to finally be dealt with - the tree's story has to come to an end. 


A Joyful Chaos said...

It's always sad when a faithful old tree has to be removed.

cyndy said...

Sigh. The circle of life.

Nice photos of your woodpecker ;-)