Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Power of Roots

When they cut down the big-leaf maple trees outside my bedroom window, I thought I would be without anything but crumbling basalt to look at until next spring at the earliest. Not so! Dozens of maple leaves are festooning the hillside around where the old trees were chopped down. They lack the grandeur of the plate-sized, deep-green leaves of the prior generation, but they show no hesitancy in bursting forth and multiplying.

I am, of course, delighted to see them, but it makes me wonder about the efficacy of the clear cut. The roots are clearly still flourishing, finding minuscule weaknesses in the hillside to push new tendrils into, continuing their gradual disassembly of the rocky cliff-face. True, they lack the weight of the branches and leaves that responded to the pull of gravity before. But the roots continue to assert themselves.

Oh heck, I'm just going to enjoy the new sprouts. According to the  recent  New Yorker article, we're due for a 9.2 earthquake and tsunami any day now, at which point a few big-leaf maples more or less will be the least of my worries.


  1. Glad to hear about the new trees! Also, I read that article too. And, if it's any consolation, John says that the whole techtonic plate explication is in error! That is not how mountain ranges were formed, for example.

  2. It's comforting to know that your trees are refusing to die! A stump removal expert might have to come in and dig out the root systems unless more trees are wanted.

    I saw that article too! It was most unsettling--for lack of a better word.

  3. I hope they don't dig out the roots, especially if there are now leafy lovelies showing themselves. It's believed that the roots of trees, especially in hilly areas, will keep the ground from erosion. Seems like if they took down the heaviness of the major tree, left the roots, and now there are little branches and leaves, it could help to keep the bank stable. I'm not a scientist, of course, that's just what I think.