Trees BY JOYCE KILMER
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
The farm has wonderful trees, loads and loads of trees. The whole driveway is lined with sugar maples; they were tapped for syrup for many years, and have the scars and leftover metal bits to prove it. There are a couple that even predate the house--one we estimate to be nearly 200 years old. Our friend the forester walked it through with us, and identified the age of many of them.
Unfortunately, trees are not permanent. Many of them were dead or dying, or had seriously weak spots through the middle. We knew there would be issues down the road.
Our first tree experience (July 2017) was with the tree directly in front of the house. It was clearly dead, and leaning entirely the wrong way.
In 2018, we had an issue with storm damage. Not only did our driveway wash out, but a tree split in half and brought down the power lines. Do NOT get me started on NYSEG and their utter unhelpfulness. Friends of friends took some of the wood away, and the rest remained in a brush pile alongside the driveway for the next year. (That's the pile they are removing in the first photo below)
Then in 2019, we finally had enough money available to hire a tree company to remove the dead trees. The estimate was astounding, but worse than the cost, was the fact that we were about to lose 12-14 trees, including the 200 year old monster by the house. Broke.my.heart, y'all. I knew the big one was going to have to go--it was dying more each year. But some of the others, including the one to the right in the picture just above, i wasn't prepared to lose. One foggy, cold day in September, the tree service showed up with some uber-serious equipment, including a crane, a bobcat, a flatbed, and things I don't even know the name of. There was one guy on the team whose job, it seems, was only to sharpen blades. These guys were amazing, even if they were breaking my heart.
In one week, they removed dying or dead trees, did a lot of trimming in the remaining trees, moved stumps and chips to a corner of the upper field, and ground the stumps for us. The house looks a bit naked now, and forlorn without her tree buddies.
We will plant a couple of new trees along the driveway to preserve some symmetry, but we won't replant them all--we'd like the trees to be able to spread. The remaining trees are a mix of ages, so we hope that this legacy lasts a couple of generations without having to make someone do this again.