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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Found

When we moved here twenty four years ago (tempus fugit) there was a cotton wood in the back yard.  It was an interesting tree; it may have been three seedlings merged at the base, three fused trunks to the sky; it may have been one trunk that split.  No matter, for a trash tree it had character.

Cottonwoods do have their place.  I left a twenty year old one I’d planted in my Mentor back yard.  Less than a mile from the lake, water table about six inches below ground, that tree was in cottonwood heaven and grew big and tall on its unlimited water supply.  Its leaves were the first to show and the last to fall; it always rustled in the back yard.  A comfortable tree in my Mentor back yard.

The fellow who expanded our septic system and leach bed the fall we moved in offered to take out the cottonwood.  Recalling the rustle, I declined.  So, the cottonwood grew on, at the in front of the oaks and maples that trail off into the woods.

The cottonwood, sixteen years ago

The cottonwood grew and grew.  Erma Bombeck noted the grass is greener over the septic, and I can add that cottonwoods are bigger over the leach bed.  It dominated the back yard; it sent mighty roots over to drink up the cistern water we use for the garden.  The mighty roots became hills in the yard that tripped up the lawn mower.  For all we knew, the mighty roots were tearing away the septic tank walls.  The cottonwood was taking full advantage of its fortunate situation, but our outlook was less fortunate.  New septic systems cost about twenty thousand dollars.  Felling the tree, with some sadness, only nine hundred.

I could not watch it come down, but all the men in the neighborhood made up for my absence.  When I came home from work there was just a stump and the next day that was ground to chips.


The area that was a cotton wood

This maple was behind the cottonwood.  Unknown, unloved, sandwiched between an oak and the cottonwood.  It’s pointing east, taking its advantage of what sun it received.  The woodman offered to take it out, too.  He said it would never have a straight trunk.  No, but such an interesting one.  Go, maple.  It’s put in fifteen or twenty years to get here.

15 comments:

  1. Even those of us who are warped have a place in life.

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  2. I say, "Go maple!" as well. Cottonwood trees can grow so huge with plentiful water. There is one large overlooking my place. While I wouldn't miss the yearly snowstorm of cotton seeds blowing around, I would miss the shade it provides. I am nurturing a small volunteer maple tree as well. It's probably 15 feet high and leans to capture what sunlight it can reach underneath the black walnut tree. It may outlast the walnut tree and prove to be a good shade tree someday.

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  3. I hate to see a tree go too. They're like friends at times.

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  4. Well done that determined maple tree! I wonder whether the root system provides a counterbalance...

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  5. I always want to cry when a tree is felled.
    Jane x

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  6. Felling a tree is like losing a family member :-).

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  7. The maple has a new look. I don't think about trees too often but when I do it's typically with fondness. Still remember climbing them long ago.

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  8. From a fellow tree hugger.....a sob and a smile....

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  9. I always feel so sad when a tree comes down. I worry all the time when the winds come and the trees bend and sway. Here' hoping that your Maple will thrive and give you good shade, as the Cottonwood once did.

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  10. We lost a huge oak that was hit by lightning .... it was also covered in poison oak vines. Some of the vines looked like small trees. I hated losing the tree, but was glad to be rid of the poison. I planted a dozen or so small maples last fall and they all survived winter. A new little sycamore is coming along, too. I love my trees!

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  11. So sad to see a magnificent tree go down, even when it's necessary.
    My daughter has a cottonwood on her property, it's beside the driveway and near the creek that runs through from east to west. It's the only one I've ever seen. The previous owners had seen and loved them when they spent time in America, so planted this one when they built the house. I love the sound it makes. I think I have a photo of it somewhere.

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  12. I hate to lose a tree. It is sometimes necessary, but I grieve. Each time. And I always replant.

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  13. I also have a hard time parting with trees. I hope you put the wood chips to use somewhere. Except I can part with maybe pine trees of which we have about fifty or maybe now a hundred. Should take all of them out but as no one is willing to send my kiddo to college but me that is not happening. Do you need pine cones? I have a million.

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  14. I was raised in Southern Alberta. We literally had one tree! We practically worshipped the things. When one has to come down, I cry!

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