Friday, December 23, 2016

A TREE STORY



Our neighborhood used to be filled with alder trees until disease and insects brought many of them down. We've been lucky. We planted two alders, no bigger than yardsticks, in our backyard over 30 years ago, and they have thrived. Until last summer. One of the alders died. We waited in hope that the few green leaves left would generate new growth, but instead they curled up and fell off. Another victim of drought, we thought





Recently we watched as the 20-something foot tall tree came down in a matter of three hours. One man agilely climbed up the tree, rope and saw in hand, took off lower branches -- many larger than the original stick we planted -- lowered them to the ground on the rope, and then cut chunks off the main trunk.


His careful maneuvering through the tree reminded me of the tree pruners in Japan, who wore soft tabi socks on their feet instead of boots, as they nimbly stretched from one branch to another. They seemed, just as this worker did, to be one with the tree, careful with its branches, respecting the great growth from a small stick many years ago. When he was done all that was left was a 6-foot tall stump.

A week later, we watched as Glenn Sievert, a tree sculptor, used a buzz saw to carve out two bears from the leftover trunk giving new life to an old tree. We topped off the bears with Santa hats. 

This is our tree story.  Do you have a story about a tree?




Best of the holidays to you and yours. May you be filled with joy, comfort, and good cheer.

12 comments:

  1. I love your backyard bears! So cute and a wonderful way to "re-purpose" those stumps.

    I don't have a tree story but I lose a 75-100 ft pine almost every year to disease. Those tree climbers who bring them down safely are amazing to watch.

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    1. Jean,
      Did you ever climb trees when you were a kid? Did you ever have a kite wind up in a tree? Did you plant the pine trees? I'm just throwing out ideas because I know, as a fellow writer, that sometimes prompts can get you started!
      These bears join two other groups of bears in our backyard.

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  2. Sad, cute, poetic. Wishing you a lovely holiday!

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  3. I grew up on a suburban street planted with California Sycamore seedlings. They all grew differently due to seedling variation but we loved them. Big leaves to rake into piles in fall, bare winter branches limber and constantly moving in the breeze, thick deep shade when the days were hot and still. The sell of damp Sycamore leaves takes me back instantly to those years. Now I live where a county park has groves of native Sycamores along an ancient creek. Some are 100 ft tall with trunks big enough to become banquet tables. I'm in heaven there in Biddle Park--winter, spring, summer or fall--and 6 years old again.

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    1. Thank you for your story -- wonderful memories. We had towering maple trees that have since been cut down by new owners. Sad. There is so much meaning in trees. Check out the website Treewhispers. Pamela Paulsrud has put together a beautiful exhibit with stories of trees from all over the country. Your story belongs with them!

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  4. Love this story of tree transformation! Thank you, Martha

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    1. Thank you, Lori. Trees touch me in a profound way -- as if I'm reaching back to the beginning of time.

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  5. Love what you did with the tree too!

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    1. Hi,
      Thank you! Our two bears join to other groups of two in our yard. They are fun to look at and a good reminder of what was there before.

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  6. Sad about your tree, very creative outcome with the bears and Santa hats!

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    1. Yes, trees are hard to cut down. We get attached to them.

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Thank you for commenting! I love hearing from readers, and I answer each one.