Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘dying trees

Forest View

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I’m no expert, but I’m willing to venture a guess that a tree that sprouts leaves in the spring, but can’t get them to grow any larger than the tip of a finger, is going through the slow process of dying.

I’ve been watching this tree out our bathroom window for several weeks. It is particularly noticeable because all the rest of the trees around it opened up gorgeous full-sized leaves on their branches.

That standout stalled at the earliest stage of sprouting leaves.

I’m now doubting its likelihood of catching up.

Looking out that window yesterday, it occurred to me how many months of the year that view opens deep into the wooded slope, looking across a carpet of brown fallen leaves covering the ground.

That spot is a favorite for rambunctious squirrels that put on Ninja Warrior obstacle course demonstrations, bringing Delilah to an uncontrollable outburst of window-screen destruction and flurries of loud barking in the front porch.

This time of year, that section of forest becomes an enchanting mystery. I love the darkness that develops under the canopy of shady leafed-out trees. When the sun is really bright, it makes that darkness even more intense.

Last year, in August, I posted about the Inviting Portals that beckon a visit into the benefits of breathing the forest air. I find those darkened openings irresistibly captivating.

I’m convinced that I receive equally beneficial psychological rewards simply from absorbing the glorious views of the walls of trees that tower along the edges of our forest and fields.

It’s never clear what the change from bare trees to leafy ones will bring. Branches along the trail that were overhead all winter will often surprise me with how much they droop under the added weight of leaves come spring.

After a brief, yet energized thunderstorm yesterday afternoon, some of the young trees around the house failed to hold their posture under the added weight of wetted leaves.

So, we’ve got trees with not enough leaves and trees with more leaves than they can support, but they are each an exception. The rest of the forest is as picturesque as ever now, providing views that invite and inspire.

Forest views that feed my soul tremendously.

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Written by johnwhays

May 30, 2018 at 6:00 am

Losing Trees

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DSCN4209eIt’s so incredibly sad to be losing more pine trees. Our pine trees have slowly, but very consistently every year since we bought this place, been dying off.

Looking back, I believe it probably started before we arrived. One of the first things I noticed after we moved in was a small, dead pine in our front yard. It had just endured a very dry autumn, so I left it stand over the winter, in case it showed any sign of new life the following spring.

It didn’t.

I cut it down and accepted the loss as a single unfortunate occasion. However, the next year there were more.

DSCN4210eSeveral trees began showing signs of stress and I figured they were suffering from another very dry summer and autumn. I tried watering them to aid their ability to withstand the rigors of the approaching winter. Little did I know, it would be very extreme winter.

I wasn’t surprised when the trees weren’t able to survive that double whammy.

It was always 1 or 2 trees in a bunch, while others, often the larger ones around them, seemed unaffected. I would cut down the dead trees and assume that was that.

Each time, the decline of the trees happened so slowly that I wasn’t forming an opinion there was more to be concerned about. I had researched the symptoms, and came to believe (probably due to a confirmation bias) it was weather related. Knowing I wasn’t going to control the weather, I resorted to sadly accepting the loss without feeling there was anything more to be done.

When we spotted it happening again this year, on the few remaining trees in all of the several locations of previous losses, we called for an analysis by a professional. I had hoped that one look would reveal to an arborist some known predicament indigenous to this region.

Unfortunately, he arrived in the middle of a pouring rain. Cyndie was home at the time, and walked with him, trying to hold an umbrella that kept folding inside out in the wind. Not conducive to making close inspection or pondering possibilities.

What he did offer was the disconcerting news that no matter what the problem is, possible treatments wouldn’t start until next spring. He left us with the impression he would return later, in better weather, and take a closer look. One of Cyndie’s to-do tasks today is to call the tree company and inquire, because we haven’t heard anything for weeks.

Maybe when he said better weather, he meant next spring.

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Written by johnwhays

December 17, 2015 at 7:00 am