The Emotional Life of Trees

Fall larch tree

This time of year my larch is in full color. Time to enjoy –  in another week the tree will start to drop the needles and the cone-laden branches. This tree requires some complicated pruning each year because of a tree versus power line conflict.

An arborist we used to hire LOVED this tree;  he was definitely well suited to his job and I could tell he loved trees in general. He would come to the garden for a tree inspection. He would always touch the trees, either laying his palm against their trunks or caressing a branch, and ask me “how is this tree doing?” That always made me laugh, because it was as if he was inquiring about the tree’s emotional state and how it felt in the last few months, rather than it’s physical state. Once I called him on the phone and asked him to come over to remove a sick tree, and his first response was a panicky, “NOT THE LARCH!!!”

Trees have so much impact on the immediate physical environment and on the landscape, so it’s not surprising that some people develop relationships with them. I feel angry when someone illegally removes trees just to improve their view (I am shaking my fist at that person on Beach Drive who killed the trees in front of their condo) so I found it really hard to make the decision to remove a big Danger Tree a few years ago from our yard. The cedar was enormous, located near the front of the driveway and had started to drop large branches every time there was a storm. Because of the location and the way that it was planted (above a retaining wall) the roots didn’t secure it into the ground on all sides, and it would have fallen on our house if it was blown over.  Despite the fact that it was a hazard , I was really upset when it was removed.

This Google satellite picture shows the cedar that we had removed. The shadow spreading across the road shows how large the tree was.

The tree is no longer visible in Google street view because of a recent update, but here is a Google satellite view of the tree and it’s shadow.

I just realized that I have a lot of tree-related emotional issues that  I could keep writing about.  However, I need to do some work today, so will end here.


About Chrystal

This blog is my online journal to keep track of what is going on in different parts of the garden, different times of the year.
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