July 14, 2012

farewell, old chinaberry

This tree was good to us, right up to the end. When a storm with 70-mph winds blew one of her three main trunks into our yard on Monday evening, it fell gracefully, causing no damage to our house, fences or power lines. Had either of the other two trunks fallen, we would be facing thousands of dollars of damage. We agreed with the arborist that though much of the tree was still healthy, her base was too damaged, and leaving her up would be too hazardous. It will be expensive to take the rest down, but not exorbitantly so - another small blessing for which we are grateful.

She was a messy tree. We had to rake up her berries year round, her leaves in the fall, her flowers in the spring. But for all that, I've been reflecting on all the benefits she provided over the years, her shade and shelter, the sustenance she provided to innumerable creatures over the years. How many squirrels, blue jays, cardinals and woodpeckers were born and raised in her canopy? How many cicadas called her home? How many monarchs and waxwings fed on her flowers and fruit?

We will miss her.


  1. AnonymousJuly 14, 2012

    I find it stunning (and worthy of the focal point of your Nobel prize novel) that the tree came down at the same time your three children have left for paths of their own.
    Extraordinary link of nature.

  2. I am saddened by her departure as well. As Mark said, she was a messy tree, but my favorite part was in spring, when in bloom, she smelled wonderful and looked like snow was falling when the flowers fell. The yard is not the same.