Ode To A Tree

September weekends at the camp…gotta love them! The weather is cool enough to work, not so cool as to be cold. This was a very productive weekend for me, I got at another 10 or more trees cut in the spare lot. One of them was a big old poplar, and it was leaning heavily over my neighbors shed, just waiting to fall down and crush the roof.

So I did the right thing, I sent my buddy Doug up a tree beside it with a rope between his teeth. He then tied the rope to the tree we were cutting down, and then we tied it off to another tree in the direction we wanted it to fall, opposite to the shed. It worked!

The tree succumbed to my Sachs Dolmar chain saw with a resounding crash, landing in just the right spot. It’s now cut up and split, drying out in the sun, to be firewood to warm us next year.

It was an interesting old tree, one of those truly gnarly old soldiers that have stood for a long time. At some point it had split at the top, and a big part of it had fallen to the ground. When I sawed it up, it was hollow from the top down to about 20 feet above ground. Which explained why it had broken off.

I hate to cut a tree, any tree, although I do it all the time. It’s a little like hunting, I do it, but there is always the thought that you are taking a life, be that a tree or a deer.

It is also nature in it’s purest sense, and as such, that is what happens in nature. It was time for the tree to come down, I knew it, my neighbors no doubt knew it, and if it could, I’m sure the tree knew it. Had it been anywhere else on the property, I probably would have left it, as a home to birds and small animals, but as it was, it had to go.

Poplars grow fast, and already trees that I am sure were spawned by that old tree have grown tall, surpassing it. They are full of leaves, healthy and robust, able to withstand a windstorm or two, and remain standing.

My tree, the tree I cut today, had seen a good life I’m sure, growing unfettered in the woods next to our cottage. It had housed birds and critters like squirrels, spawned new trees, offered shade and now, it will provide us with some heat.

I will miss it, because it has always looked old and gnarly, as long as I can remember, and always was something I looked at in our little wood lot, if for no other reason than to wonder when it was going to fall and crush the neighbors shed….

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