Sunday 1 September 2019

Grandkids Can Be Pretty Gullible

About a month ago we had three trees removed from our front yard. Two of them were birch trees and the other was an ash tree. The Ash tree suffered from a broken branch high up during our Snowtember event four years ago. Our city lost or suffered damage to about a third of our trees. I find that hard to believe, but who am I to question the city bean (tree) counters. Since the damage to the Ash tree I pictured the branch plummeting from on high and ending up stuck in the roof of the neighbour’s car. Serve them right for parking on the street. Plus over the years the Ash had grown in a very odd and ugly direction and it became an aerial highway for squirrels.

The two Birch trees have had a lingering death that lasted for several years. The extreme cold of this past winter finished them off and not one leaf sprouted on either tree this spring. Most of the Birch trees in the neighbourhood suffered in some way or another. I am assuming that the cold was responsible but I suppose it could be some kind of suicide pact. Do trees get depressed?

I did mull over trying to cut down the Birch trees myself, but I had visions of myself sitting in front of the insurance adjuster trying to explain why I thought I could cut down a dead, mature Birch tree without crushing the neighbour’s home. That would have been the best possible outcome. Besides, what on earth would I have done with all of that wood? I like fires a much as the next guy, but two trees worth of wood and branches is an awful lot of tree.

In the end I called the Branch Manager Arborists. They cut down an Elm tree we had about five years ago and I was very happy with the work. That was another ugly tree which grew far too close to the house. Anyways, the Branch Manager sent out a couple of tree monkeys with multiple chain saws and within a couple of hours all that was left were fire ready logs. They asked me if I wanted to keep the wood and my initial response was NO. Like I said, a tree or three is a lot of wood and I don’t have many fires any longer. In the end I kept a pile of wood hoping that the kids (who do have fires) would be happy to take most of it off of my hands. So far only the neighbour’s kid wanted any. They also sent a guy out with a machine to chew up the stump. I have dug up stumps before in my life and I highly recommend not doing it yourself.

I figure I will turn a couple of bowls in memory of the trees that kept our family company for so many years. Arwen convinced Maegan and Brendan that Birch bark was Indian chewing gum when they were much younger and much more gullible. I have also stripped relatively large sections of bark off of the logs and have made a few bird houses which look pretty good. I am also experimenting with making Birch bark rings which look …OK. I have more experimenting to do. There may be some other crafty things I can do with the Birch bark, but so far I haven’t thought of them.

Maybe I will convince Hurricane, Tornado and Tsunami that Birch bark is what the indigenous peoples of Canada used as chewing gum. Grandkids can be pretty gullible.

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