Had three old silver maples removed from the front yard last week. The forester said they were fifty or sixty years old, though they could’ve passed for a hundred to the unschooled eye. They’d died of old age. (A bad pruning job some decades back hadn’t done them any favors either.) Squirrels had stripped away the bark. The limbs had lost leaves. The roots were shallow, failing in every way.
I didn’t have the heart to watch them cut down, as they were good friends who’d brought much pleasure to my life. But when the stump grinder guy came along a couple of days later with his big yellow machine, I couldn’t help myself. I was all eyes. Man, that was some kind of rig! It had a whirling saw blade that must have been three feet in diameter, and it swung back and forth like the gate on a picket fence, shredding those ancient stumps into mulch.
Planted a couple of young ash where the silver maples used to stand. They can’t ever replace those quaint old trees—nothing could do that—but it’s a comforting feeling looking out the window again. Especially when you’re glancing up from the keyboard. Or the pages of a good book.