Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Falling trees continued

So far we have had luck and the weather has cooperated; the trees still stand. Cranes are due in tomorrow and Friday to remove 4! dying and declining trees including the precariously perched Tulip poplars. As a precautionary measure, today our tree company came in and roped together 4 trees in hopes that we can keep everything standing through this afternoon's forecast thunderstorms. I'm feeling good about things, though the betting at the Arboretum is split just about down the middle. A smallish (all comparisons being relative) crane will come in tomorrow and remove an Oak and a Tuliptree from just below the parking lot, making room for the big crane (it takes 3 tractor trailers to deliver it!) to come in Friday and remove the last two trees. There is talk that the big tree will be essentially lifted out whole but that's gotta be just talk; it's 100' tall at least and it's over 4 feet in diameter at its base. This I've gotta see.

The woodland will look very different, but the opening will provide an opportunity for already planted trees to explode upward. That's the way forests work; seeds germinate, small trees grow and bide their time until an opening appears in the canopy. They they take off. As unhappy as I am at the prospect of losing 4 mature trees, it will be exciting to see others allowed to realize their potential. These "adolescent" trees can grow at astounding rates. I wouldn't be surprised to see them grow 4-6' a year for the next ten or fifteen years.

It's impossible to be objective about something like this but I like to try and step back mentally and get outside my emotions. What is a huge event for us is just a blip in the life of a forest. Still, we measure things by our lifetimes. What else do we have? And these trees won't be replaced in my lifetime. Still, the Arboretum isn't all about me nor is the Japanese Woodland so we'll persevere, we'll move forward, and the young trees will get their chance.

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