A Response by Julie Walton Shaver of Tree Growers Diary
So, um, here’s my thing. See, if my neighbor who hates trees would go ahead and cut down the stupid Norway maple in his front yard that keeps shedding huge branches every time the wind blows, I could plant something new and fun to watch; a Donald Wyman crabapple has been on my wish list for about eight years now.
So, yes, I’m in agreement. Cut down your trees! Let’s start with the dreaded Bradford pear (of which I have two, I’m ashamed to say). Next: all Norway maples have to go. Can we leave up the sugar maples though? What would a fall palette be without some orange leaves? Oh, right, we can buy those plastic ones at the store and wrap them around the light posts for a splash here and there.
I wrote in my blog recently about piggy-backing on the Shade Tree Commission’s booth at the Country Fair. Here’s what I learned: PEOPLE HATE TREES. Three-quarters of the people who visited the booth complained to the poor commissioner that the stinkin’ Shade Tree Commission doesn’t ever actually DO anything about all the darn shade in town.
And then I read this Henry Mitchell thing on your blog and people are writing in telling their neighbors to cut down the trees?! What’s gotten into the world? I LIKE shade. Didn’t anybody ever hear of skin cancer? I like to sit outside and not be hot. I like to watch birds and squirrels and hawks and I don’t much like doing this while my neighbors can see me from their kitchen window. I want a tree between me and him, a vertical fence defining the air space between us and darkening the ground so I don’t have to squint from sun glare. You can buy tomatoes at the store. Where can I buy shade?
But you know what? That’s it. I can’t take it anymore. The tree haters have gotten to me and won. A 10-year-old even wrote in recently to tell me my site had a stupid name. WHAT ELSE should I call it? (Kid probably can’t even tell an acorn from a sugar maple seed.) Oh, dozens of people picked up acorns from a basket at the fair and, I swear, wanted to know "what are these"?
I’m closing down shop, cutting down my trees, joining the mainstream, and starting up a new site: a web cam focused on the concrete sidewalk in front of my house. How will it grow and change? What can I learn from it? Who cares anyway? By next week, some developer will plop another house in my front yard. After all, there’s a population explosion and the trees are taking up too much space. We have to make room for gigantic houses with itty bitty yards and great big 3-zone air conditioners.
As for the grand 100-foot-tall beech that lived when Abraham Lincoln was president, cut her down too. All new houses have to make room for a driveway.[Photo by Julie Walton Shaver.]