Tuesday, June 16, 2015

They cut down my trees!

It's deja vu.

When I moved into my downtown condo about 20 years ago, one of its pleasures was a big magnolia tree that lifted its white blossoms up just outside my deck. I loved it. One day, I came home and found a memo from the management company saying they were going to remove it. I tried to save my tree, but it was doomed. The construction of the condo complex included underground parking, which meant that the green lawn outside my windows was actually in a gigantic flowerpot. The tree had become too big and too heavy for its artificial underground. It came down and was replaced by spindly dogwoods that didn't come up to where I could see them without leaning over the railing. I had moved in, I had fallen into arboreal love, and I had lost my beloved.

When I moved here, I fell in love again, with a mini-grove of big-leaf maples growing out of the steep bank opposite my window. The way the big, floppy leaves moved in the wind, the colors they presented in spring (hopeful light green) and summer (earnest dark green) and fall (gleaming yellow turning brown), the shade beneath the branches, the seeds helicoptering down, I felt I could watch those trees endlessly and feel my soul renewed by their beauty.

And all that's left is a few stumps six inches tall and maybe two inches across sticking up through the diamond-patterned fencing set against the hillside to protect cars from rockfalls. I understand why it had to happen. For all the beauty aboveground, below the trunks and branches and leaves, the tree roots were slowly tearing the hillside apart. Eventually, inevitably, my trees would have brought several tons of basalt down onto the driveway and against the side of the building, maybe tossing a few random rocks high enough to crack my windows, certainly caving in the walls of my neighbors below.

I understand that. But my trees are gone. The understanding is in my head, the mourning is in my heart and is not comforted.


  1. My condolences. Your lost trees must have been wonderful. And I can so relate to your feelings about losing them. For almost 30 years, I enjoyed a beautiful tree, a tall cottonwood, visible and audible two back yards to the south. All summer long, when I sat outside on the back deck, I loved watching and listening to the leaves shimmer and rustle in the breeze. Then, the property directly south of us was sold and the new owners put up a tall building in their back yard completely obscuring our view to the south. I lost the tree, and the breeze, and, for 6 months of the year, sun in the backyard. That was 8 years ago and it remains an aching loss.

  2. It's so sad when this happens. One's view is important! Trees are important!

    I hope that the property management will consider replacing the trees with some that don't have obnoxiously spreading roots.

    Maybe you took some photos of the trees before they were cut down?