Thursday, September 5, 2013

"A Tree is NEVER Just a Tree"

The tree arborist came out to confirm its death.
I knew it was dead, but . . .  still, I needed to hear the words.
     "What do you think caused it?" I asked, as he stood and stared at the tree.

He looked up at its brittle, lifeless branches.
He rubbed his hands across its smooth bark with its rough edges.    
He placed his foot upon its roots, still grounded.     

Taking a step back, he paused, as if waiting for an answer.

     "For the life of me," he said, finally, shaking his head,
          "I have no idea. Must be something underground that we can't see."

The following week, the tree was gone.

     A few months later . . . . . .

I received a notice on my door from the Department of Utilities.
The reading on my meter indicated that there was a possible water leak.
The next day, I noticed that there was water leaking from my front yard,
     spilling onto the sidewalk.
The day after that, a plumbing company came out to look at the problem.

Diagnosis:  a crack (somewhere) in the underground pipes,
                         probably due to age.

Then, I thought about the tree.

Could the removal of the tree have caused the crack in the pipe? 

     "Highly doubtful," said the plumber.   

I thought about the tree, again.

The water had most likely been leaking from the pipe
     well before there were visual signs.

I remembered the words of the tree arborist:

"Must be something underground that we can't see."  

     It was a slow leak.

A slow, undetectable leak . . .  that, most likely, killed the tree.

A slow, undetectable leak.
A friend of mine made a comment that "a tree is never JUST a tree."
He has no idea how true those words really are.

A tree is NEVER just a tree.    




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