A brief stint volunteering with Plant Amnesty, local horticulture’s version of the humane society, connected me with enlightened arborists. The crews have sculpted my and adjacent trees into elegant, healthy forms over the last fifteen or so years.
They were working on the property last week when I realized that first-quality tree care adds more value to the experience of living here than any of the furniture I shift from place to place in the interior. Like sending a child to competent day care, it’s comforting to know that I have been able to do right, as far as I am able, by the large trees for which I am responsible.
Now and then a tree reaches the end of its trail. I have been happy to discover that the end of the trail need not be a stump grinder. The environmental community has defined the wild life tree, one chain-saw pruned to end its life as a growing entity and begin a new one as habitat for insects and nesting birds. I am now the proud custodian of two such snags, that no doubt look clumsy to the untrained eye. Nearby trees and plants will fill in with their own graceful strategies, and the resident birds will be sassier than ever.