Thursday, 19 September 2013

Goodbye old tree

Last day for the 80-year old Norway Maple
A neighbour was taken away yesterday: An 80-year old Norway maple tree across the street was finally cut down by the city. It's been in terrible shape for the past two years, dropping limbs onto the road and sidewalk with every storm. It's had the spray-painted, city-ordained "orange spot of death" on it for almost six months. It was on an incredible tilt, leaning about fifteen degrees further than it should have been over the street, and all my neighbours and I were just waiting for it to fall into our front porches and laps, at any moment. It was time for the gorgeous old tree to go. I will miss it terribly.
Logs in a truck
Over the twenty plus years I've lived in this house, I've seen raccoons, squirrels, cats, blue jays, cardinals, crows, falcons and brilliant yellow butterflies in its branches. I could see its trunk, its limbs, its lofty crown from every window in my house, and it was always the first tree on the street to turn golden, my first harbinger of autumn. It shaded us all, on both sides of the street, and offered some privacy to not one but two neighbouring houses.
This too shall pass
It was the last of three old trees on the street to go in the past five years -- the three sisters I called them. Several years ago, we asked the city to plant a tree on our property, knowing that one day soon the three sisters would be gone. Our tree is now a lovely young sugar maple, but its a baby in comparison to the grand old lady we said goodbye to yesterday, a tree planted some time in the 1930s in a city bracing for war. I'd love to know
who planted the tree, the city or the home owners, or if it grew to 100 + feet from a stray maple key left by carelessness or design. I feel like a house has been removed, or a faithful friend. So, this blog post is meant as a passing note of admiration and recognition: dear 80-year old Norway maple, thanks for all the shade.

Here's a youtube video of beautiful spring trees on Toronto Island, set to my guitar music.

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