My Tree

I bought a house around eleven years ago. It was that crazy winter in Connecticut where we were getting about a foot of snow twice a week (at least that’s what it felt like). I knew there was a big tree in the front yard when I bought it, but the mounds of snow somehow obscured the tree. It wasn’t until later that spring that I really noticed the tree. It soon became one of my favorite things about my house. Sadly, I don’t have a good picture of it. I don’t take many pictures.

I’m told it was a swamp maple. I don’t know a whole lot about trees, but I trust the person who told me. I do know it was big. Taller than my house. Much too big for me to put my arms around. It definitely wasn’t a climbing tree. I couldn’t even reach the lowest branches. But it had so much character. At the base of the tree, in probably a five-by-five square, the roots formed this crazy above ground structure (That you can see in the picture). I think one of the previous owners tried to box it in, maybe with planters, and the tree wasn’t having it. The bark was craggy and pitted. It reminded me of an Ent (the good ones from the book, not the cheesy knockoffs in the movie).

You’re probably noticing that I’m using the past tense. That’s because this happened:

And then this:

The power company decided it was interfering with the power lines and it had to come down. Only twice in the last eleven years has my tree caused a power outage, but what do I know? I’m really sad about it. There was a time, when I needed a new roof, that I used to joke about how nice it would be if a storm knocked the tree into the house, but I was never serious about it.

I’m going to miss my tree. And I’m going to miss all the things my tree brought to my house. I’m never a fan of summer, but I’m kind of dreading what it will be like without the shade my tree provided. The tree was a whole ecosystem unto itself. Squirrels, chipmunks, all kinds of birds and bugs, even other plants lived and used the tree. Where will they go?

Now I just have a stump. I’m trying to decide what to do with it. It’s expensive getting a stump removed, and I kind of want to keep it in some form. Maybe I can turn it into some kind of planter or decorative feature for the yard. We’ll see. I want something better than uninterrupted electricity to come out of my tree’s sacrifice.

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