The maple is gone

Was it an act of masochism to have our 80 year old maple taken down the very same week I’m finishing “The Overstory” — a novel about many things but primarily about the complexity and value of trees?


Damage by carpenter ants vindicated the decision. But still…

The lopper, aka “Spider-Man,” dispatched his duties with grace and precision, chain saw hooked to his belt. It was hard to be both so impressed and distraught at the same time.

More to say on this, but it’s the time in the day when I like to unwind. Afternoon PT was chatty, fun even. And my first writing class convened this morning and went really, really well! I wrote about — guess what? — the 80 year old maple that is now gone.

19 thoughts on “The maple is gone

    1. deemallon Post author

      It has been failing for years. One huge dead limb after another. Some of the cut sites healed over but one seemed to have allowed carpenter ants in. We didn’t know until they were chopping up the trunk how severely compromised the tree was. It wasn’t just that the limbs had to come off (for 400, $500 dollars PS, requiring possible removal the next year for three times that amount), severe wind might have cracked the tree in half.

    1. deemallon Post author

      Also kids walk to school on our sidewalk; the tree flanked the driveway where we park our vehicles and it grew next to electric wires. If it were out back, the decision might’ve been different. And in fact for a compromised pin cherry out back the calculus WAS different and that tree fell onto the deck and narrowly (by inches) missed the house.

  1. ravenandsparrow

    Its tough to take trees down. The final THWUMP of the falling trunk is a death knell. We have gigantic fir trees behind our house that would crush us like bugs, so we keep an eye on their health. The damage in your tree made it very dangerous. It reminds me of our old apple tree…it was consumed by termites and finally just split down the middle. Fortunately it was too far from buildings to hurt anything but itself. I really miss it.

    1. deemallon Post author

      That earth-shaking thump is something else, isn’t it? Part proclamation, part death knell as you say. Thank goodness we stuck an Arbor Day golden chain tree twig in the ground 15 or so years ago out front. It has matured beautifully — reaching almost thirty feet high. It may do better now.

  2. Ginny

    It’s so sad. I have five (5!!) pines in PA that need to come down. I don’t have the heart or the money to do it. The maple this summer cost me a bundle. So much so I left a giant stump out back to save another $500. It now has sunflowers growing from the top. I’m glad I left it. Life goes on. Even for trees.

  3. Joanne

    We have had to take down a number of old trees that started to endanger the house and the plumbing in one case, the soil here in Maine, where i live, is sandy and the roots don’t hold well as the tree gets top heavy. And the skill of the climber is really awesome. And so very dangerous. One of our favorites got badly injured and still, after 5 years, can’t work. Not here. Some other job thankfully as I would have been destroyed to have witnessed it.


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