It seems sort of silly to be sad at the loss of a single tree when so many trees are being burned in the wildfires all across the west, but this was my tree. Well, no, it wasn’t my tree since trees belong to themselves, but the tree was my responsibility. And it saddens me that I had to destroy it. (I was going to be clever and say I euthanized it, but that would indicate a humane death, and killing something with a chain saw cannot be called humane.)

Although the tree looked pretty and healthy, it was diseased. Apparently, at one time, it had been hit by lightning, and the core and the far side of the tree was dying. I could have kept it awhile longer, but it was a danger in high winds, and I didn’t want to be responsible for someone getting hurt by a falling branch. (And I certainly didn’t want to have to compensate the someone who was injured.)

It was the last tree on this property, and now it’s gone. I was always disdainful of people who bought a house and then immediately cut down all the trees, and yet, that’s what I did. A couple of the trees were diseased and dying. One needed to be cut way back to protect the roof and the tree cutter thought it would be too lopsided to be healthy, so they took the whole thing. Another was a danger because it was entwined with electrical wires.

And so I became one of the disdained. Even worse, I’ve never considered myself a killer, but from my actions regarding trees, I have to revise that assessment.

In my defense, we (the tree guy and me) are planning on planting new trees — perhaps a red maple in the front yard and three along the parkway strip between the street and the sidewalk where this tree was removed, and two greengage plum trees in the back yard. These will be real trees, not the half-dead sticks (now, completely dead sticks) that I got from an arbor society, so I’m hoping they will have a chance to survive.

Meantime, my property looks naked, and that, too, saddens me.


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator

11 Responses to “Saddened”

  1. jj7854 Says:

    Hey there!!!  I understand the feeling.  Heard about one woman that bought a friends log home and immediately cut down a healthy old oak that was so big one person with long arms could not join hands around it.  Have spent a bundle on saving a few here as are major and near house.  I replaced one that died with a Chinese Chestnut as they are faster growing but only get to around 20′ tall with red foliage in the fall.  Have a demised Silver Maple that needs to come down that is in the immediate back yard.  Hopefully get rid of it this winter and plant something new there.  Before you know it your new trees will be growing strong!Judy

  2. Uthayanan Says:

    Dear Pat I really fell sorry for you. I understand your feeling But you did it with good intention.
    Nothing matters please plant laurels trees it will grows fast and you can use with cooking. Leaves stays during the winter.
    Otherwise I do not have any idea at the moment might be tomorrow.
    Take care of you

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      I like the idea of laurel trees! I’ll check to see if they can grow around here when it comes time to plant. Thank you!

      • Uthayanan Says:

        Pat please do what you feel like I was infatuated with Pearl S. Buck writing when I was very young without any maturity. Some how I feel you are a modern like of Pearl S. Buck with your independent thinking and writing. What I try to do simply suggesting to do from 7000 thousands miles away with my gardening experience. If you can have zinnias without any problems you can have Laurels. You are a free person and in your freedom in any case I never want to influence you.
        Because of your brave writing of grief you are one of the person in my life whom I am going to cherish in my life until my dead.

  3. rami ungar the writer Says:

    Maybe you can plant a few new trees. Not just in your home, but all around. I’m sure the planet will thank you, and it pretties up the neighborhood.
    Speaking of planting trees, when I get a home, I want to plant a tree in the front or back yard to mark the occasion, and then plant trees to mark major occasions (I got the idea from a manga). You could plant one for your home, and plant one for the one that died.

  4. 4cats2go Says:

    Trees are our friends. Their loss, regardless of circumstance, is painful. Planting new friends is the best medicine!!!

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