The End of an Era for a Grand-Stander


The enormous poplar tree that has majestically stood overlooking our farm for the better part of a century saw its last sunrise today. My mother recalled recently that this tree was already huge when she was a child.  After decades of enduring ice storms, hurricanes, regular high winds, at least two lightning strikes we know of, and eventual disease, signs were mounting that this tree had more years standing behind it than in front of it. Many large limbs fell off over the years, but thanks to Divine Providence no real damage or injury occurred.  Even with salvage pruning by Brother Mike in spikes to try to stave off the eventual sadness, this grand 95-foot-tall monument, today, lost its limbs, safely, thanks to the skilled two-man crew of Lamoreaux Landscaping. It’s impressive (as well as alarming ) how quickly a few hands can make short work of such a big job (and decades of life…think Amazon Rain Forest and try not to cry).

Such a magnificent presence should be remembered and honored for all the life it supported, the shade it gave, and the beauty of its mere existence.  I’ll admit to shedding a tear as the tree was pared down.  After all it was here before us (and our parents) and was part of our lives every day.  Rather than having it cut down fully and the stump ground out, leaving no trace of its place in this world, we had the crew leave a good portion of the trunk standing to support new life–not only will the local woodpeckers have a field day for years to come, but also a flowering vine will be planted at the tree’s base to eventually encompass the deeply grooved bark and reach the top of the standing trunk. Even in its abbreviated state the beauty and purpose of the poplar can endure.

Eventually, the massive trunk will crumble beneath the vine over the years, but at over six feet in diameter, that should take quite awhile. If the former glory of this beautiful tree ends up still retaining a presence on the farm long after we’re gone,  that would be just fine and more than fair. Such a rich existence shouldn’t be so easily erased. And in the meantime, while we are still around, we don’t fully have to say goodbye.


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2 Responses to The End of an Era for a Grand-Stander

  1. Dorothy Skibel says:

    Jo: What a beautiful early morning picture of that old poplar tree. You should enter that into the photography contest at the Republican. If you need a vine, I have a trumpet vine that keeps coming up around the back bird house stand. Dad got one from Doctor Hutt. It has yet to have a blossom on it. I must be doing something wrong. I noticed that they have a vine growing on the Bardwell St. side of St. Patrick’s church in the falls. I have seen flowers on that one. The hummingbirds love that type of flower. Maybe I shouldn’t be cutting it back every year.


  2. Elizabeth Miele says:

    So beautifully expressed sister! Just reading about your “poplar” friend brought tears to my eyes as well. You certainly have a special gift for the written word and an evident appreciation of nature in all of its dimensions. I can think of no better steward of nature’s wonders of creation than you. Liz

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