Tuesday, October 8, 2013

When the Bough Breaks

Back in April, I had no idea that our beautiful pear tree was riddled with cracks. 
And sickness was spreading through the lush ornamental plum (below, left).

Rattlebridge Farm has trees aplenty.
But the pear and plum gave the house a homey look, shielding it from the road.


Ornamental pears are infamous for splitting, and ours was a bit close to the house. Several people told us that a huge fissure that ran through the main trunk. The boughs were hanging by twigs.
"It's gotta come down, that tree," one man said, slapping his hands together. "It'll fall on your house. Kerplunk! Take out half the roof."

I wasn't ready to lose that tree. Not yet. But I didn't want to lose the roof, either.
We cut off a few limbs, hoping to lighten the load.

The tree continued to crack.
It had to come down.
Around this time, I received bad news about the ornamental plum. It had some type of tree disease.
Both were cut down today.


I don't miss the plum. In fact, the house looks much tidier without it.
The pear will be sorely missed.



What will I plant?
My mother had a solution.
"I know you want another tree," she said, "But you oughta plant grass."
"Grass?" I glanced at the wide, empty space.
"You've got a  lot going on," she said. "Grass will allow the eye to rest."

Some things are here for a while and pass away. They can't be replaced.
I hope the grass is green and restful, wherever you are.

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  1. Michael Lee, I feel your pain! We have unexpectedly lost so many beautiful trees in the last two years due to age and storms, including a pear, a plum and three apples. Trees really do become our babies. I have grass now, as in my mourning for my trees I couldn't imagine replacing them. Sometimes I enjoy the open space, and other times I feel the need for the sheltering wall. Maybe in your case Mama knows best! Your herb garden certainly takes center stage now and may enjoy the sun streaming down on it. Grass is easy and won't mind being dug up when you decide what to do next. :) Linda

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  3. We had a pear tree just like yours fall across our driveway this past spring so I can totally relate to your story. We are so thankful that it didn't fall on someone's car or hurt someone when it fell. I do miss it but not the gazillion leaves it produced each year. The grass will be lovely and if it isn't you can always plant a tree.

    Mary l

  4. How true your statement is " Some things are here for a while, and they pass away. They can't be replaced" In life, there are so many objects/people/places we lose that can't be replaced.....Your dear Mother is right - maybe grass , right now, will be simpler, calmer, easier......
    Enjoy your blog so much - always look forward to a new post from you ! One day you'll have to show us all how your beautiful bathroom came out - I was anxiously watching all the decisions you had to make !!

  5. When we wanted to add a tree, we went for a Cleveland Pear. They don't have that splitting issue that is so common in ornamental pears. They grow tall and more cylindrical, and we have really enjoyed the one we planted. I would highly recommend it.

  6. Awww, what a shame to have to lose both of them! I am very attached to my trees, too.
    My ex-DH & I planted a beautiful pink cherry blossom tree the year DD was born. I wanted to cry when it had to go, as it got so big & like yours, was too close to the house.

    We had red Chinese maples in front of our former 2 story colonial & they were glorious in the fall.

    I think it might be wise to wait a year to make sure whatever disease that killed your trees isn't still lingering in the soil in those places. I wonder how they could test for that??? hmmmm...I'll have to ask someone.
    I know our area has lost a LOT of trees to "the Emerald ash borer".

  7. We lost our pear in Sandy, but I am grateful as so many lost so much!

    Yes, some things can't be replaced. A tree, yes indeedy!

    Be well!

  8. My vote is for planting a Clump River Birch. They are so beautiful and their bark so decorative. I'd love to have a Weeping Cherry as well. Both are lovely.

  9. I am so sorry for you loss. It is always difficult to lose a tree. You should talk to Susan from BNOTP. She had to remove her trees. It was not an easy decision, but I believe now she is happy with her decision. I believe she is researching replacements.

  10. so sad losing gorgeous trees... i have never seen a pear that large either! not to contradict you mother, i would plant more flowering trees, the world can never be to pretty...