This Old Tree: An Obituary


This old tree has become part of me. We, twenty years living here, have enjoyed having it by our side.

We saw it survive winds and ice, enjoy heat and humidity, but now to save it requires major pruning. It might not be enough. Eighty years old we figure. It has seen so much, a youngster in the 1930’s.

Born years before us, it is time. I hope it does not hurt. I hope it understands. Trees falling apart are dangerous. They don’t mean to be.

Gravity is the cause, otherwise I think they would choose to break up, not down. So would we.

I hope, like the old dogs and old people I have loved, that this old tree will be part of the heaven that is there to welcome us.

18 thoughts on “This Old Tree: An Obituary

  1. marthaschaefer May 27, 2014 / 10:05 am

    Lovely tribute to an old friend.

    • fictionfitz May 27, 2014 / 10:09 am

      She/he deserves it. Thanks for writing. Much appreciated!

  2. jhvn May 27, 2014 / 1:20 pm

    I too am in my 80s. The pruning does hurt; but that’s part of my slow learning process. I trust that the tree and I will survive in better shape than ever.

  3. Carole Webber May 27, 2014 / 2:54 pm

    Old trees like old friends are hard to part with. I would have hope that the tree will make it, Eighty is not that old for a tree. Most of the maples on our lawn are over one hundred

    • fictionfitz May 27, 2014 / 7:46 pm

      We think it has too much rot and the bugs are doing their thing, it is split and dangerous. Still….

    • fictionfitz May 27, 2014 / 7:40 pm

      Well, the thing is, we decided to cut it down. Maybe will change our mind with your comments.

      • New Hampshire Garden Solutions May 27, 2014 / 8:10 pm

        It depends on the type of tree it is. Many will re-sprout even from a stump. Your tree man should know.

      • fictionfitz May 27, 2014 / 8:19 pm

        Spoke to McClure, he said it is possible we could save it, but it is a close call. We will spend an extra thousand if it does not work out.

      • fictionfitz May 27, 2014 / 8:21 pm

        ps: It is a maple.

      • New Hampshire Garden Solutions May 27, 2014 / 8:30 pm

        I think I’d take it down if it was me. A maple that size probably won’t re-sprout from a stump, and if you had the stump ground no tree would re-sprout.

      • fictionfitz May 28, 2014 / 6:53 am

        Not sure what you mean by re-sprout from a stump. If we save it, we will trim dead branches, and then feed.

      • New Hampshire Garden Solutions May 28, 2014 / 7:26 am

        Some trees, when cut down, will grow new growth around the stump. Elm and willow are good examples. Maples can also do this but they aren’t quite as vigorous as some other trees. I’d go along with what the tree man recommends.

  4. sritchie28 May 28, 2014 / 8:02 am

    It has three main leaders. In between where they all branch out the crotch is rotted and collects water. One of the large leaders is completely dead and insects have burrowed down from the crotch to the bottom of the trunk. This is the section which worries us the most. If it falls it will do significant damage to the garden, and the gardener (me).

    If pruned, what remains will be a grossly misshapened ghost of a once-proud tree. We will need to invest $1,500.00 to prune, cable and feed. This, with no guarantee that the tree will survive. If it doesn’t survive, we will need to spend an additional $1,500.00 to finally have it removed.

    If removed, the ash next to it will grow tall and symmetrical. The opened vista will reveal a sloping lawn with a grove of flowering lilac trees. And the gardener will have a new bed to play with!

    • fictionfitz May 28, 2014 / 8:08 am

      And now you have the rest of the story.

  5. Morguie May 29, 2014 / 10:41 am

    I love trees and do hear the reluctance in those words. Sometimes it’s for the best, however, as in your case.

    • fictionfitz May 29, 2014 / 4:58 pm

      We are going to try and save the tree. Putting off the morgue.

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