‘Do you think the tree is going to be all right blowing like that in this wind?’ the other half asked me at some point yesterday afternoon.
‘It’ll be fine,’ I said. ‘It’s pretty sturdy, and besides birch are fairly bendy. It’s the ones that don’t bend that you have to worry about.’
‘Plenty of birches come down in the back woods though,’ the other half said.
‘Yeah, but they’re all thin and top-heavy. This one will be fine.’
Which just goes to show how much I know about trees.
‘Um, look at the tree now,’ the other half said a few hours later
An entire day of high gusting winds, rain and saturated ground had half uprooted the tree, leaving it finely balanced, but rocking with every gust. While the other half – a man with his priorities right – went to rescue his bird feeder, I rang the landlord and we stood and watched it for another hour not quite falling and not quite not falling until a man came with a chainsaw and put it out of its misery.
It could have been a lot worse. The tree managed to fall between the woodshed and the road, missing the telephone wire, our car, the house, the cat and any passing people on the road. The part of the garden it mostly landed on was the part that was getting a bit out of hand, and now I feel that at least I didn’t waste too much time weeding that end of the flowerbed. If it had been anywhere else, we might have had a go at righting it – sometimes they will just re-seat themselves, none the worse for wear – but we just couldn’t risk it that close to the road. And it was ‘only’ a birch tree, not an ancient, magnificent oak or beech, something worth making an effort to save.
But all the same, a tree is a tree is a tree and I do feel bad now for enjoying the wind so much earlier. And extra light or no extra light, I feel the view from our kitchen window this morning is rather diminished by its loss.
Although, looking on the bright side, that is quite a lot of firewood…