Today we cut down trees…

tree felling 1

….and I feels slightly sad.

Trees are creatures that seem in many ways senior to we fidgeting humans. They are older, more planted (ahem) still and silent. They provide shelter for a million lesser creatures in their wide spread generous embrace.

To plant a tree is to invest in the distant future- perhaps of our children’s children.

To cut down a tree means that we take a slice from our living history and discard it.

Having said all that, today we will fell 5 trees in our gardens. Trees in gardens always feel a little like ships in ponds. They might look nice, but really they need the open sea.

Two of them are non-native to Scotland. I have no prejudice towards aliens- I am that myself. These are great big awkward conifers that suck in the light that should ripen our vegetables. They are perhaps the youngest of the bunch- maybe thirty or forty years old.

The other three are odd shaped sticky sycamore trees- possibly self seeded around the edges of the garden, 60-70 years ago. Some of them have become unbalanced and diseased, and given the storm winds of late, we can no longer risk them falling on to our neighbors.

Sycamores are the mongrels of the tree world- they spring up like rabbits and scrabble for space with a lust for life that makes the more cultured pull in their roots in distaste. But the light of the sun on their bright spring leaves is lovely.

May they rest in peace.

The discussion has already begun as to what we might plant in their places…

tree felling 2

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