Tuesday, 2 November 2010

"Woodman Spare That Tree"

Before leaving home this morning at around 9.00 am, I was struck by the lovely colours in a huge Acer at the back of the house. The sun through the still plentifull leaves was a glorious bronze/red and although the tree in question keeps the sun from my garden in the morning, I thought it a small price to pay for such a dazzling sight.

On my return, some 4 hours later I was at first puzzled, then shocked and horrified to discover that some blind philistine had cut it down.

My first reaction was fury, closely followed by an almost physical anguish at the loss of a beautifull and long-familier part of my personal landscape.  This tree had become a friend of many year's standing.

Anyone who doesn't have this 'tree' thing will never understand the depth of feeling involved.

Many years ago, working in Grays Inn Road in London, I waged a one-woman battle to try to save a young Plane tree when the now ITV building was being renovated from its Sunday Times past to its present place in London's media life.

Having bearded the site-manager in his Portocabin office, followed by a visit to the Camden Tree Officer, I had finally obtained a promise that this young tree would remain untouched by the work in progress.  Imagine how it felt to return to work one Monday to find a gaping crater where the tree had been and a pile of building materials dumped alongside.  Apparently no-one had passed the protection information on to the work-force.

I spent most of that day in floods of tears, much to the amazement/amusement of my colleagues who clearly thought this hormonal half-wit was more to be pitied than scorned.

Even my late husband, well used to my 'tilting at windmills' way of life said "it was only a tree" !!!


  1. No - it wasn't only a tree, it was, as you rightly state, part of your personal landscape.

    At theological college, I always used to sit so I can see out of a window, partly because my learning-style abhors lectures, but because the place where I trained was filled with trees - I love looking at trees.

    For reasons that I cannot fully explain, I prefer to pray eyes open (perhaps eyes closed causes more mind-wandering) - and at the college, praying while enjoying a tree, even for a grit and gravel man like me, was effective and worked.

    That also said, in my 'northern' days, I also learned to loathe Fred Dibnah because he used to pull down the chimneys down that were part of my personal landscape then!

    Thanks for this post - I am with you all the way!

  2. I would have been crying too; trees are special and we are all living creatures in this beautiful universe that we too often despoil.