Saturday, October 10, 2009

Kill a tree today 

Originally uploaded by Yuek Hahn
An amazing thing is happening today--I have absolutely no outside obligations to attend to. I really don't know how this happened, but I'll gladly take it. Anyway, with the day stretching before me and all sorts of things on my to-do list, I chose to mess with our tree. One of the blessings of our little home is Seattle is the flowering cherry tree that has occupied a corner of our yard. It's provided beautiful blossoms in the spring, whispering leaves in the summer. For my wife, it's been a convenient stand for a birdfeeder; and for the kids, a canopy under which to play. But this past year, it's been obvious that its days are numbered. One of the three major branches has been dead, and a second has been drying up to create an early fall. So Noodles has decided to take down the old thing and replace it with a new tree.

Of course, this is one of those chores where Noodles has the idea but I end up providing the labor. That's not a bad thing, of course, because destruction is one of those things at which we men excel. (That line sounds sexist, doesn't it? Probably because it is.) So this morn I put on a pair of work gloves, took some yard tools and decided to poke at the tree. I didn't need the tools so much--most of the branches of the dead limb came off by hand. The only real difficulty was reaching the branches that hung over the fence. When I turned my attention to the second limb, I was only able to pull off a good third of the branches on my own. As I tried to disentangle them from the healthier branches, I couldn't help but wonder if we could have extended the life of the tree had we but did some pruning over the years. When it comes to yard care, I'm sure my farming forebears would hide their faces in shame if they saw what a lousy job I do of it. Anyhoo, for the rest of the second limb branches, I used the clippers. The third limb, the one that's still green and hangs over the slope, I left alone. It was time for lunch and I wasn't prepared to take the whole tree down today. Sure, that would be the most efficient use of my time and a rare free day, but why should I start being so practical? There will be other days in which to prune, plus I can then look forward to renting a chain saw and really having some testosteronal fun.

Of course, once the flush of mass destruction passes, I feel a bit melancholy over the tree. It was a nice little addition to the yard, and it'll be years before whatever sort of tree we might get will grow into a proper replacement. Assuming I don't kill that one first.

Labels: , , ,