A startling sight greeted me this morning when I looked out the back porch: a crew had arrived to take down one of the 2 big Siberian Elms in our neighbor’s backyard. The other tree was going to receive a hard pruning.
The new neighbors had mentioned that this was coming. A qualified arborist had said that the one tree was in bad shape and needed to come down, and the other tree needed cutting back to reduce risk to the house, not to mention people relaxing in the backyard.
Pretty much all the houses on our block were built at the same time, just before the Second World War, and all were landscaped with the same trees: Siberian Elms (Ulmus pumila), Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum), and Eastern Red Cedar (Juniper virginiana). I strongly suspect these three were chosen because they were fast-growing and cheap.
However, at this point these trees are about 80 years old and the Maples and Elms, at least, have gotten in the habit of dropping very large and heavy branches on every yard in our immediate vicinity. These 2 particular species are notorious for having weak wood.
This will change the feel of our back garden. We are used to the dappled shade of a high canopy that covered the sky to the south and east with small leaves giving a dappled shade. Now there will be a large window, as it were, in the canopy. There are still large trees to the south of us on the other side of the alley, but I think there will be considerably more morning light now.
Which is not necessarily a bad thing, just different, and requiring adjustment by people and plants. I’m sure some of our plants will be happy with the change.
Any large shade tree coming down feels like a significant loss. At least, that’s how I feel.
Here’s the view looking southeast from our back porch after the arborists were done.
On a totally different front, today is our older son’s birthday. He was going to do a curbside pickup of our grocery order this evening and drop it off at our house. However, the order wasn’t ready and so we won’t be seeing him today, though we did get to have a nice chat over the phone.
So he’ll be bringing our groceries tomorrow, and we will present him with birthday gifts. Well, re-gifts to some extent. Judy found the complete set of Calvin and Hobbes he got as a present decades ago. Combined with a paper bag full of old novels, we hope they will help ease the stress of his current job, which has been impacted by the pandemic in a big way. Judy also made him some chocolate chip cookies.
Hoping you are all staying calm and keeping healthy.