Sunday, December 5, 2010

All this for a tree

I read a great story not long ago about a tree.  I seem to have developed an affinity for trees.  When my mother died my sister and I had to select a memorial tree for her in the arboretum near my sister's home.  The understanding was that we were going to distribute Mom's ashes around the tree and then, eventually, Dad's as well. 

Unfortunately Dad had broken his back a month after Mom died and was in no shape to make the selection so my sister and I wandered around the arboretum looking at the various trees.  Eventually selected a Thomas Black Walnut partly because of it's location and primarily because of its description.  It was described as being a 'majestic shade tree' which seemed appropriate for Mom.  Mom loved trees as well.  My sister remembers Mom carrying my nephew around the cottage extolling him to 'look at Nana's trees' when he was a very little boy.  Perhaps I've gained my love of trees from my Mom.

I have a Linden tree in my front yard.  The biggest tree on the block. I seldom cut back any of its hanging branches because I love the privacy they provide and the way they caress the ground offering secret hiding places for my grand kids and the other local children. 

I joke with my husband that we can't ever sell our house because I couldn't bear to leave the tree! 

So when I saw a headline that read 'A tree moves to Markham' I simply had to read the accompanying article.  It appears that a 75 year old Japanese maple was moved from a nursery in Oakville to a home in Markham.  The new owner, who elected to remain anonymous, said that when he first saw the tree at the nursery "it evoked a feeling from inside" and that he simply "felt I had to have it."  Of course the fact that he could manage the $70,000 price tag to have it moved was fortunate.  I certainly won't be moving the Linden tree anytime soon.

Another interesting part of the story was that this is the second move for this particular tree.  The tree had originally grown on the front lawn of a house near Burlington but when the family built a new addition the tree had to go.  Instead of simply cutting it down though the family contacted the nursery to see if it could be removed and replanted.  It could and they did.  And so it was from it's second home that it was seen and bought and moved to what is hopefully it's final forever home. 

I realize that there are different opinions on trees.  Different opinions on moving them to be sure.  Different opinions on spending that kind of money on a tree.  One of those different opinions was expressed by a man who stopped to check out the activity when the tree was being transplanted in Markham.  "All this for a tree?" was the comment. 

Y'up. All this for a tree.

"Here a Linden-tree stood bright'ning
All adown its silver rind;
For, as some trees draw the lightning,
So this tree, unto my mind,
Drew to earth the blessed sunshine,
From the sky where it was shrined."
     ~  Elizabeth Barrett Browning

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