Saturday, July 02, 2011

deep affection, part the second

In a TIMBER-y follow-up to my previous life-in-the-trees post...

The tree NEXT TO 'our tree' has been looking rather sickly, having dropped a rotten section on the boulevard the morning we moved in a year or so ago.

We've been re-insulating our basement (by which I mean we've found the money to PAY people to re-insulate our basement, given that our house is a hundred years old) and I came upon one of the guys looking up into the canopy Thursday.

"Now that's a widowmaker," he commented, pointing to a large leafless branch and confiding that he was also an arborist. "Next half-decent windstorm we get, it'll probably come down."

Nevermind half-decent storm: it came down the NEXT day. We pulled up in front of the house after attending a wedding and saw that the branch he'd pointed at was half-down, resting on a neighbouring tree.

A City of Winnipeg truck towing a chipper showed up within the hour. So the girl and I sat on our deck and watched them wield several different-sized chainsaws from the ground and from a bucket on a crane.

They cut down the hanging branch and cleaned up the break but left the rest of the tree. And, also, the larger chunks of downed wood, which now sit on the boulevard. The rest went into the chipper.

The girl oohed and ahhed. I noticed that the amount of time it took to take apart the branch was ridiculously short compared to how long the tree took to grow it. I also wistfully - and selfishly - hoped that the tree would somehow survive.

This was a rather stark example of 'tree management,' given my thoughts on Winnipeg's elm canopy of late. (The crew said that three trees - or bits of trees - had come down yesterday around Winnipeg...)

Finally, in my last post, I referenced Jamie Swift's 2000 article The Return of the Stately Elm.

The article is worth reading in its entirety, but the following quote has bobbed around in my subconscious since then and I thought I'd share it:

"If you ever want to lose elected office in Winnipeg," says [former] mayor Glenn Murray wryly, "say something bad about a tree."

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