The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

10 May 2006

In mourning

I lost a tree today.

The storms ripped through the area just after midnight; I slept through most of it because, after all, it's an Oklahoma spring, and storms are part of the background. And since I didn't go into the back yard this morning, I didn't see it.

This afternoon, I was carrying some broken limbs from the front yard back to the patio, where the trash barrels reside, and there was the west sweetgum, ripped literally in two, its trunk intact to about five feet, half of its crown leaning on its sister to the east, the other half twenty-five feet away, parked next to one of the evergreens.

This is the very tree beneath whose leaves I did my best quiet time, whose shadow marked my sunbathing area, whose shade kept my patio from turning into a concrete grill.

And when it's cleared away, it's going to leave a hole a lot larger than just the circumference of the trunk.

Addendum: Here's how the twins looked in happier times.

Posted at 5:33 PM to Surlywood

Yeah, Oklahoma weather blows. :)

Posted by: unimpressed at 5:45 PM on 10 May 2006


I'm sorry to hear that. Really. I know the feeling of losing a big tree and the connection with nature it brings in the middle of the city is hard to explain, but it's very real and mourning is not too strong of a word.

Posted by: MikeSwi... at 7:34 PM on 10 May 2006

My neighbor had two huge maples cut down to the ground just yesterday. They were diseased but still managed to try to put out leaves this year. His wife could not bear to be at home when the deed was done; she told me this morning that when she came home after they were gone she was in tears.

Funny how the loss of a tree evokes such incredibly strong emotions in us. I agree with Mike; 'mourning' is not too strong of a word.

Posted by: Vickie at 8:19 PM on 10 May 2006

The silver lining...

You won't have so many of those dang sweetgum sticky spiny ball thingys to walk on. If you replant, try a river birch or 2. They are hardy, fast growing, and attractive. No spiny balls or other hazards to contend with...

Posted by: Winston at 7:07 AM on 11 May 2006

You want some of our sweetgum trees?

We're going to have them pulled down someday -- we can't stand those @#$!ed seed pods on our driveway, our deck, flung at fastball speeds out from under the mower.

Posted by: McGehee at 11:47 AM on 11 May 2006

Of course, here in Georgia, where trees are rats with leaves, we have a slightly different view of them than we might in, say, Oklahoma.

Posted by: McGehee at 11:50 AM on 11 May 2006

Sweetgums are pretty. Lawns are evil. The trees are trying to tell you this, but you do not understand.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at 4:11 PM on 11 May 2006


Posted by: Jennifer at 6:05 PM on 11 May 2006

Andrea, I know lawns are evil. But the people we bought our house from went and had one put in, and you know how peer pressure can be.

Besides, if there's nobody aroubnd to aim the pods at, flinging them at fastball speeds is meaningless.

When I end up in a body cast because I stepped on a sweetgum seed pod on my steep driveway and went Chevy Chase into the mini-ravine right next to it, then you'll be sorry.

Right after you stop laughing.

Posted by: McGehee at 10:31 AM on 12 May 2006

Well I always wear shoes when I go outside, but I live in Florida, land of the fire ant and other lethal creatures. Not to mention crabgrass with sharp burrs. And -- yes -- sweetgums.

How to solve your lawn problem: plant more trees! Then the lawn will die, and you will have a lovely covering of dead leaves, mushrooms, and ferns, like God intended. Or just dig up the sod and put in pavers.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at 6:01 PM on 12 May 2006