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The Biggest Tree on my Street

March 19, 2013


The largest tree on my street, a red maple probably about 60 years old, maybe older, is coming down today.

I know its sick and I know that it has a big rotting hole at the base of the trunk and I know that lots of its larger branches are dead or dying. I know that I don’t park my car under it for fear I might not have a car one morning. I know that–but I’m still sad that it has to come down.

Watching the crew take it down is kind of fascinating, they’re being very careful (luckily its not the same company who was responsible for this), tying off branches before they’re cut so they can be lowered slowly to the ground to preserve not only the neighbor’s cars, but also our front gardens. No matter how many times I see a careful tree company work, I find it amazing (and I am glad its not me up in that cherry picker!). The noise has scared all of the birds away for the morning, though, and the street will be covered in sawdust for a week or so.

So, the tree will be gone, they’ll grind the stump out and hey, I’ll have another tree box to mess around in! So that’s a positive from a negative. I have three (well, four) now, near my house that I’m planning to care for. They were installed this winter as a goodwill response to a lot of flooding that’s happened in my neighborhood over the last year (click here and here for more info). I don’t know how well they’ll control stormwater, but I’m excited for a new space to plant. The city has installed three “Princeton” Elms, an improved form of the American Elm that is hopefully immune to the dreaded Dutch Elm disease. I’ll be interested to see how they perform. And spring is on its way, a more traditional DC spring this year, not immediate summer like last year. Buds are breaking and Crocuses, Daffodils and Hellebores are doing their thing.

Buds about to open

Buds about to open

Pussy Willow buds covered in a mid-March sleet

Pussy Willow buds covered in a mid-March sleet

Hellebore flowers--one of the earliest bloomers

Hellebore flowers–one of the earliest bloomers

So today I will mourn the loss of the tree and tomorrow I will plan for what will succeed it. Isn’t that how all gardens go?

But I think I’ll have to talk to my houseplants a little bit more today…


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