Killing the earth, one tree at a time

sweet gum

The lady across the side street from me lives in her mother’s house and I’m guessing always has. Her husband, a 57 year old hulking man when I moved here fourteen years ago had a massive stroke about ten years ago. Their son died some time ago and their daughter is married and has four children, so only the mother and grandmother occupy the house now. Last week the man who plods along taking 2 ½ to three hours to mow their lawn began sawing branches off of the sweet gum tree in the corner of the front lawn. Oh no, another perfectly good tree being laid to waste.

True enough the seed pods the tree drops every winter make quite a mess, with the little prickly spheres filled with ground pepper sized seeds and I guess the elderly ladies do not find the beauty of the star shaped leaves every autumn to compensate for having to clean up the debris.

The yardman has white hair and because he is so slow at the mowing, I thought he was elderly and not up to cutting the lower branches of the tree, much less the whole trunk as well. I told Marilyn the guy had to be 110 if he was a day, but she said no, his son went to school with her son, so he was probably not all that old. While I went about my morning routine the man got the whole tree down and there were slices of it all around that corner of the yard with a short stump left after he gathered up all the pieces and went away.

The next day he returned and sawed the stump into wedges and then laid on his side as he proceeded to saw under them to bring the stump down to ground level. Amen.


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