Archive for October 15th, 2013

When Giants Die


As I have said before,  my mail route, much of it, looks like a park with houses. Huge old trees dominate: oaks, maples, spruces, beeches.

One house in particular is in a beautiful setting. On one side stood a row of evergreens; I think they were firs. In the front yard, an enormous towering sugar maple. In the back, one of the largest black oaks on the route.

Last week, the evergreens were cut down. And today, all the larger limbs on the maple had been removed, leaving only the trunk. I assume that tomorrow that will be gone.

What’s left of the tree looked sound, and I wondered at what motivated the owner to take down such a glorious tree.

Driving by later, I saw the tree crew out in front. I stopped and asked why the man was cutting down his trees. The foreman said that he was tired of trees over his roof, that the leaves and such damaged it. Not only that, he said, he is taking down the oak as well. To his credit, the man expressed dismay at having to kill healthy trees.

This oak is glorious, huge and ancient, a veritable archetype.

I may have grieved when my favorite beech was mutilated a couple of months back, but this is far worse: the death of two giants at the hand of man, a slap in the face of God.

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