Ruh-Roh! A Fallen Giant Gets Revenge…

by ann on March 18, 2010

008 Ruh-Roh, indeed! (I’m channeling Scooby Doo in order to lighten my¬† mood.) This is a sad sight on two counts. One, my garden fence got smushed. Two, the lovely white oak that graced the entry to my garden and provided a shady respite on hot days is now gone. I agonized over this for several years before calling in the executioner.

Trees are a crucial part of our ecosystem and our world has lost millions in a very short time.  To me, trees have a spirituality as well. I love their serenity, strength and comforting nature. I love to see birds taking refuge their branches and hear the wind rustle their leaves.  The act of cutting them sickens me. I did not want to have the stain of the sap of this beautiful tree on my hands. But I do.

The white oak had been getting rather large (17″ or so in diameter) and had begun to shade out the garden which provides our main source of food. Last year, much to the amusement of the neighborhood, we had the limbs thinned out in a last ditch effort to have adequate sunlight filter through.¬† That operation did not have the desired results, though I am glad I made the attempt for the sake of my conscience.¬† Since we cannot legally timber our neighbor’s property (although it has been tempting at times –¬† and one of our adjacent neighbors actually did it to us, but that is another story) removal (a tidy word for killing) was our only option.

Last Sunday was a gloomy cold day, with occasional breezes and sporadic spitting rain. This was to be The Day.   That morning I went out to the white oak to express my love and gratitude and to say goodbye. I sat on the bench beside it, put my arm around the trunk and sobbed. A lot.

I had been feeling the pall of death in the air yet hoped a stay of execution might be in order due to the unfavorable conditions. But late that afternoon, neighbor-friends Chris (who has been itching to cut this tree for a while) and Leigh Ann along with their tow-headed son, Adorable, appeared at our door – Chris, with chainsaw in hand and a mischievous grin on his face. Leigh Ann, Adorable and I picked the daffodils that dotted the field that potentially were in harm’s way while Husband Myke and Chris studied their plan of attack.

After picking an armload of glorious yellow trumpets, the chainsaw sprang to life – and I retreated to the house, choking back tears that were pretty determined to force their way out. If it had not been for the company of Leigh Ann and Adorable and my desire to keep my dignity in their presence, I would have had myself a big ol’ cry. We made small talk while I tried to collect myself and at the same time make enough noise to avoid hearing the impending thud.

Within minutes, Husband Myke was back inside with a look of shock on his face. A gust of wind caught the tree at the very moment of decapitation, twisting its fall right into the garden. Thankfully, no one was injured. (I lost a dear family friend in a tree cutting accident many years ago. That gouge in my heart has left me keenly aware that even smart men with good tools cannot control everything.) My next concern was for the well-being of the beautiful solar-powered fountain Рa  splurge of  last summer that was placed directly in the center of the garden as a cooling focal point. I anxiously rushed out to survey the damage.  Miraculously, and I really do mean that, the fountain was spared. The tree landed in such a way that the main fork provided perfect protection Рby just inches! No one could have planned that so precisely. There had to be a higher force at work.


I am left to wonder that while the tree may have gotten revenge by squashing the fence, did it not also acknowledge my expression of love and gratitude by sparing my fountain?

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Chris 03.22.10 at 2:38 pm

Oh the horror. We planned and cut perfectly, but fate was not on our side. I had initally thought to tie off the tree to my truck, but am glad I did not do so. The wind and Mother Earth decided that despite our efforts, this mightly little Oak was to fall East instead of west!
Sorry Ann:(

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