The Death of the Trees
Trees, take in carbon dioxide and through the process of photosynthesis, give us back oxygen. Oxygen which we as humans need. In the United States, trees absorb and store about 750 million metric tons of carbon dioxide each year. That's a lot, especially when you realize that the amount is equivalent to about 10% of the country’s CO2 emissions.
We all know the importance of trees and plants in our world. We couldn't live without them. REALLY! Our health and well-being are tied to them, whether we realize it or not.
For my birthday one year, I asked for some trees. Five conifers that would reside in our "back" backyard. (We have a LONG yard that slopes downward.) I didn't ask for them because I love trees so much. (I think I like and appreciate them more than move.) I wanted them as a buffer between my property and the business that it abuts. There was already a fence there, but these trees provided a healthier and more aesthetic option. They provide protection. They provide a home for the multitude of creatures that wander in our neighborhood. I have watched them grow over the years and I have to say, they are beautiful.
I acknowledge that sometimes trees need to come down. In our yard we had a beautiful tree. One year it barely bloomed. The next year not at all. It had to come down. And it did. It hurt me to see it go, even though I know it needed to. There is still a hole in our yard (and in my heart) where it used to be...and this is 7 after the fact.
Sometimes trees healthy trees may have to come down. I don't like it, but I do understand it. (Although I will NEVER understand the current devastation that is occurring in what used to be the Amazon rain forest.) It may be a necessary evil as landscapes evolve and change. I would hope that if you decide that you ever needed to do so, that you do it with careful thought and consideration. While you may want to remove, remember that you are removing a LIVING thing. (I don't want to use the word kill, although I really want to.) You are not just altering the landscape of a piece of property; you are changing the quality of life of the area/neighborhood. That for every tree or plant you remove, you consider how reshapes the community. It creates a whole butterfly effect (a minor change in circumstances can cause a large change in outcome). If you are removing more than one, think of how you are changing an entire ecosystem.
If all this sounds dire and a bit hysterical, I apologize. I freely admit that this post came about as I pulled into my driveway one morning with a car full of groceries and saw a huge truck backing down my neighbor's driveway. I knew there was going to be tree removal, but what I hadn't anticipated was the tree service ending up on our back lawn. (The driveway is quite narrow in some spots.) This was upsetting for 2 reasons: 1. No one asked us if it was ok or even attempted to ask us and 2. We have an underground oil tank that feeds our heating system. The truck was in the general area of where the tank is. You know where I am going with this...
After the truck was moved (to another neighbor's driveway; I'm assuming the neighbor who was ASKED if their property could be used), the tree service got to work on removing a large pine tree. This was not unexpected either. The tree, though living and relatively healthy, was not in a good space. During a snow storm last year several branches had come down and one had rested on part of the house's roof for a while. It also somewhat obscured the garage, so it made sense that the new owner of this property would have it removed.
What I didn't expect was for over a dozen trees to be cut down. (It's a big backyard!) I didn't expect all the trees and decorative bushes in the front to be torn up and hauled away. (Holly bushes that were in bloom...cuttings that I had hoped, with permission, to take and use for outdoor decorating as the Christmas season approaches). While I am fairly confident that the new owner has a plan that will eventually include new greenery, it was devastating to see (and hear) all the trees (most of which had changed color but had not yet dropped their leaves) be cut down and then thrown into a shredder.
Days after, I am still mourning the loss of all this life. I look out my window and see a barren landscape that was once full of life. I wonder where the deer will hide. I wonder what will happen to the squirrels who called those trees their home. I look at old photos of the area (believe it or not, I have photos of the neighborhood's yards from the 1920s) and see trees. Now I see traffic.
What's done is done. I realize that. I cannot change what has happened. But I can remind you (and ask you to pass along), how fragile our ecosystem is. While we don't have to hug trees, we certainly should take care of the trees and plants surround us. They are part of our life. They support us in ways that we might not consider.