Now, a lot of the giant old sugar maples that line the streets in this part of the world are sickly. They’re having a tough time adjusting to warmer temperatures and the insults of modern life.
That’s not to say that these trees wouldn’t live on indefinitely, if allowed to. In fact, I’m entirely skeptical about the goodwill of government bodies when it comes to trees. I suspect they are all in the pockets of the power and phone companies and would just as soon take them all down to keep them from interfering with their lines. Can you believe we still run these primitive lines from pole to pole above the ground and butcher trees to protect them? In a century in which we have iPhones?
We had another giant property-line sugar maple taken down a few years ago. This one was in the backyard. It was beautiful, with a round crown that shaded the entire yard–though the tree-cutters showed us a rotten core and said it was sick. Removing it was a sickeningly violent act. When the torso touched down, it shook the house. The stump bled a flesh-colored sap for a full year.
It was terrible, but it allowed me to garden the yard.
My husband laments the loss of these old giants. I am really skeptical about whether trees of this size belong in cities. When the one in front goes, I’ll feel bad for a minute and then plant a pair of sweet cherry trees I can eat off of.