Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Giving Trees


It is hard to read Shel Silverstein's children's book The Giving Tree and not think of it as a dozen metaphors relevant to our lives and relationships.  But it can also be taken a bit more literally.   Most of us do have trees to which we return, and from which we take.  And most don't fully appreciate their importance until they are gone.

A few large trees had to be taken down at a local organic farm.


The trees were older than most humans.  The photograph below shows the drive when the trees were first planted.


They added not just beauty but shade.


The trees had lived out their expected life - a storm reminded all that they had become a hazard - and they had to be taken down.






They then served to warm the house.


Unlike the titular Silverstein example however, there are enough trees here, and enough varieties, that no one will be too missed.

Work on the farm is never done.
It is the renewing acts - then planting trees that will not fully mature in a single lifetime, as well as harvesting them - that makes this organic farm, which has been in the same family for over a century,  run.

15 comments:

  1. We enjoy the shade of trees we did not plant. GLH

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    1. One generation plants the trees; another sits in the shade.

      But if you want to grow, you have to get out of the shade of the family tree.

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  2. Tree removal always makes me sad. Almost like a death in the family. I do realize a hazard needs to be removed, but it still makes me sad.

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  3. I'm sure your plate is full, but I don't know why you don't do a book. You have the eye and the inclination. A cook book, children's book, preppy book, New England life...... whatever.... you seem to be able to capture it all.

    That said, I read somewhere that by roughly 1900 there was about twenty miles of forest left between New York City and New Haven. It is all second growth now reaching the end, and large trees and limbs began coming down around here about fifteen years ago. There is a reason they are called "widow-makers." In 2000 I had all the big trees taken down from around the house. For those not in New England, these trees are now seventy to eighty feet tall. The lovely trees made everything look very established. In Huricane Sandy, when a thousand pound limb flew a good distance and landed just short of piercing the roofline, I was happy they were gone. There are still more that need to come down, but it is so darned expensive.

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    1. A book by Muffy...what a grand idea! I would be proud to add it to my collection.

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  4. What will be planted in their place, or in between the stumps?

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  5. I adore the majesty of old trees and conifers. A sad day is when a landmark beauty has been taken down as I witnessed last week. I tend to mourn the hole it leaves in the landscape for a very long time. Having watched the trees mature on our own property over the years has been one of the most thrilling aspects of homeownership. Along with planting though, comes responsibility - crown cleaning is so important to the health of a tree and allows the air to move through which is vital in times of storms. Unfortunately, trees that are removed are rarely replaced.

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  6. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein always fills me with melancholy.

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  7. Lives well lived, and all things pass away...I was heartened to know that the wood was used, and not thrown away.

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  8. After two pine trees damaged my home by a tornado on January 2nd, I am not too fond of large trees these days. These trees weren't on my property.. Give me a crepe myrtle, dogwood, or dwarf maple. My next home will be in a field without trees. Glad to see responsible caretakers of trees.

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  9. This entry is illustrative of the fact that Connecticut has a serious problem with neglect and mismanagement of our forests. Too many tracts are 100% overly-mature trees, becoming decrepit and choking each other out while their shade canopy and density effectively prevents any re-growth of either young of their own species, or diverse underbrush and weeds that actually create most of the habitat for birds. Drive past the Aquarion holdings in Easton and Redding, for instance, and you'll see vast regions of conifer "stems" 60 feet high or more, but only the top 10 feet have any foliage. The ground below them is essentially devoid of "habitat" or food for much of anything but woodpeckers.
    Tree-huggers MUST realize that some logging is necessary, to allow the renewal via replanting of the forest. Look to your own property first, and see if this is not in fact the case! BTW, wood-burning is an eco-friendly, renewable and CLEAN way to heat your house with a modern, EPA-approved stove.

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  10. The death of a tree is not unlike the loss of a language, at best - something to be mourned; at worst, a forgotten memory...

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  11. You don't even have to replant in Easton and Redding... nor most of the forested regions up and down the East Coast. Once a portion of the canopy opens up thirty trees come right up from where the one large one stood.

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  12. What a lovely, thoughtful post.

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