Tree Hugging in Thought Only

The decision to remove all the white pine trees in this association was a difficult one for me. But, in the end, I went along with the majority vote to take them all. There were benefits to keeping the trees. They provided life and they provided shade and they gave us privacy. They blocked the frigid winter winds, helped to clean the air, and they certainly helped with soil erosion and water drainage as we live on the lower part of an incline…. but I had to concede the fact these tall trees were planted too close to buildings. There was a fear of what might happen if strong storms struck. It has occurred with other white pines in this neighborhood in year’s past.

White PineAnother reason given for the removal was that the species was not considered desirable. I held my ground on that one. Just ask Doug Tallamy, chairman of the department of entomology and wildlife ecology at the University of Delaware, author of the popular books, Bringing Nature Home and The Living Landscape, who promotes growing natives to help support an area’s ecosystem. Pinus strobus, eastern white pine, is one he recommends for providing food, nuts, insects for a host of wildlife. Besides, I consider it a beautiful soft needled evergreen tree that whispers a song when the breezes come through.

Last week was the icy, snowy, cold week for tree removal. The operation was reminiscent of scenes from the movies Fern Gully or Avatar as heavy machinery, trucks, cranes, cables, and saws advanced around the area. One by one I watched these trees fall. I watched two squirrels jump from the tip top of one tree to the snow covered ground. I watched as birds flew around the tops of trees but not landing.

Click to enlarge:

I will collect some of the cones left behind and toss them into the woods that surround the neighborhood. Let’s hope a few of the offspring take root.

For every negative, I look for the positive. 1. With the tall pines gone, we now have morning sun at the breakfast table, a totally unanticipated perk that puts a smile on our faces. 2. The herbs on the window sill are responding very favorably to sunlight and we have removed the grow light that kept them happy all winter. 3. Facing an easterly direction, we’re finding the passive solar energy is keeping the home warmer. That’s a very good thing for the heating bill.  Sigh…

17 thoughts on “Tree Hugging in Thought Only

    • I do miss Cathy’s HearSay on NPR in Virginia…. and what a good guest. I heard him speak in Richmond for a small group serving on a state horticultural committee. Wow! We need to learn how to share our landscapes with nature.

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  1. I feel your pain as I too am a pine lover but I am glad you are enjoying more sunshine! 🌞 A welcome thing after this hard winter!

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    • There was a time that I might have climbed our pine and yelled, “There’s no way you’re taking this tree!” But I’m growing more cooperative and trying to make a difference in natural world in other positive ways.

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  2. Same boat here. We started the process of removing a huge maple, an oak, a horse nut chestnut, and then some trimming of others that were all in danger of coming down. They were working on the project right before the first big snow and the tree trimmer got caught under a large branch and crushed his hand. So…once we’re through the melt and mud issues, I’m guessing they’ll be back to finish the project. I LOVE trees just like you. But when it comes to them causing damage to your home or bringing down the power, I guess reality has to take over.

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  3. I’m with you on trees!
    We’re at the end of a sidewalk repair project here in Nashua. All the huge, old trees on Main St had to be cut down as part of the repairs. A lot of people protested, including several of the city aldermen, but it happened anyway.

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    • A too familiar story, I fear. I have wondered why I feel attached to trees. It may be something to do with my tree climbing as a kid. I could climb higher and faster than any kid on the block. Swaying at the tree’s canopy was my idea of fun.

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      • Sounds like you were a bolder tree climber than I was! I grew up next to the Arnold Arboretum in Boston, pretty much the only trees in the neighborhood, but as an arboretum climbing was not allowed.

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