A graceful ending.

We have always admired and loved the old Rowan tree on the Northwest corner of our land. The lady who lives across the road was born in our house and she says the tree has always been there and was a mature tree already when she was a little girl many years ago. We think it might have been growing there for a hundred years and certainly for over eighty.

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The tree in 2014 in the top right corner.

Each year we have delighted in the sight of the bright red berries in autumn. Hundreds of thrushes, fieldfares and blackbirds have enjoyed them as well and when opening the conservatory door, we have often been met with the sound and sight of a large flock lifting from the tree all at once.

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Our tree house was built in the shade of the rowan tree and in the spring you could climb up the ladder and be surrounded by tiny new light-green leaves and white flowers.

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Yesterday storm Ali blew in across Ireland and we were busy in the community garden securing the plastic on the poly tunnel so that it would not blow away. We got home and our beautiful Rowan tree had come down. We were quite astonished as it could have fallen onto the stonewall causing severe damage or onto the treehouse, causing even more damage but instead it blew over and landed in the only possible place where it would not hurt anything, not even any of the small new trees and shrubs planted close by.

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It was as if it decided it was time to move on and go with the same grace and beauty as it has given us in its lifetime. We will miss the dappled sunlight coming through its branches and twigs. We will miss the way it created a windbreak for the back-garden. Most of all we will miss seeing the outline of its beautiful crown against the multi-coloured sky of the setting sun.

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But life goes on and we are planning to use a long piece of the trunk for a natural support in our kitchen. It will be lovely to still have a part of our beautiful tree around. Other parts will be cut up for firewood, walking sticks, broom handles and probably some other things as well.

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At the site of the old tree some new small saplings are now growing. We will leave them there to see who takes the lead and maybe there will be another beautiful Rowan tree growing in the same spot eighty or a hundred years from now. Trees are wonderful and we are delighted to have had the large Rowan as our companion for the last few years.

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10 thoughts on “A graceful ending.

  • What a considerate tree, to go down in the way it did! Sad though, the end of an era. I’m glad you have saplings ready to replace it. On a trip to Scotland some years ago, we were very taken with the rowan trees with their red berries. I can’t remember ever seeing one growing in Australia, although they are probably in gardens somewhere in this vast country.

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  • How terribly sad to lose such a tree that had been there for so long.
    Some of my work involves inspecting landscapes after the loss of a big tree. It is amazing how often big trees land in the only spot where they could do so without causing much damage, or at least in the spot where they will do the least damage. I should write about it eventually. When I lived in town, a massive coast live oak fell into the front yard next door for the front yard next door on the other side. It dinged the roof gutters slightly, and broke the ends off of the rafters on the corner of the house, but otherwise did no damage to the house. I see it all the time. Conversely, there are a few trees that seem to target things in the worse possible ways, particularly expensive cars.

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    • That is so interesting. Trees are incredible and I think we have a lot to learn from their presence and relatively long lifespans. I went to see some very old yew trees in the south of England and they gave out an amazing energy. Maybe the trees that fall on expensive cars have reason to do it.

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      • I hope not. I do not want to think of trees as being vengeful. However, I can not deny that they seem to target Porsche, Saab, Audi, Lexus and BMW. The worst of those that I have inspected were Porsche and Saab. Saabs are uncommon, but are one of the more common targets for fallen trees. (I do not know if Saab is still making cars.) I have never seen a tree hurt a Buick, Chrysler (or its relatives) or Mercury (or its relatives). I saw a massive Chinese elm exert a great deal of effort to avoid damaging an 1969 Oldsmobile Cutlass that if fell ‘over’. It literally fell over the car, with it limbs supporting the canopy on the other side of the car. I was able to drive the car out. It got only a little scratch on the roof. Now here is a weird one. Of all the fallen trees that I have inspected, I have only inspected two redwoods. One had massive double trunks that fell between two homes in town with no more damage than crushing the fence (of course) and tearing the gutters from the roofs. The other was a small redwood that seemed to get airborne in high winds to completely destroy an Astro van! This little tree seemed to jump out of the ground and onto the van! It was one of only two fallen redwoods, and the only Chevrolet that I ever saw targeted by a tree. It as two rarities in one. That little tree REALLY hated that van!

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