December 1, 2020

<img src=”writer' house.png” alt=”writer writes about accepting change">


I'm stressing out about a tree that we will lose this year.  

See the elegant dogwood at the corner of the house?  That thirty-year old tree must be moved and it's likely it won't survive.

This came about because there was a crack in the foundation of our house which caused water to seep into the ceiling of the basement.  To fix the problem, the house will need to have piers placed under the foundation at the corner to lift and straighten it.  Right by the dogwood.

It breaks my heart that this magnificent tree will be dug up.  The dogwood and its twin have graced the corners of our house for decades, creating symmetry in the front landscaping.  Throughout most of the year, there is no shortage of color:  creamy-white blossoms in spring, emerald-green foliage in summer, and crimson berries and rust-red leaves during the fall.   

It's odd how we take things for granted, how we may fail to fully appreciate what we have.   When I glance through the sheers of the dining room window, I expect to see the leafy dogwood.  It's always been there.   And now, its days are numbered.       

I can't bear to lose this beautiful tree.  So, I did a little research and found that the best months to transplant a tree would be November through March.  It would be important to bring along as much of the root as possible without roughing up the root ball.  Ehh...this looks iffy.  Though we plan to have the work done late fall, expecting contractors to carefully uproot a tree with a bulldozer is unlikely.  My gut feeling is they won't give a sh*t.  

Even still, I needed to know if we could save the tree.  I asked my arborist friend B.G. to stop by and give us his opinion.  After taking a look at the dogwood and noticing how close it was to the house and how far its roots had spread, he said that it would not survive.  "The tree is too big," says B.G. 

We had another expert come by to have a look.  He said that if the tree is removed and then replanted it may have enough energy to flower in the spring, but it may not live much longer. 

Two grim opinions.  

And then, my husband interviewed three contractors.  Two of the three said the tree is in the way.  But one told us that they could work around the tree!  You know which one I'm rooting for (pun intended.) 

But who am I'm kidding?  The dogwood hugs the corner of the house.  It would be a miracle to work around a tree that's smack dab in the middle of an area that has to be dug up. 

I'm crushed about losing a tree that my husband planted thirty years ago.  This healthy dogwood is like an old friend.  Soon, it will be gone forever.  And I'll have to get used to the fact.  This will not be easy for me.  But like Carly Simon sings, "I know nothing stays the same."  

There is a slight chance that once the tree is dug up, it won't be damaged too much and it can be replanted.  If enough root ball is saved, it might survive.  For a moment, I have a flicker of hope.  Who knows what will happen?  All I know is to appreciate the now because tomorrow things may change.  Elegance may disappear.  So, I take a deep breath, step toward the window, and part the dining room sheers.    

À la prochaine!