Tuesday, 17 March 2015

The Urban Forest and the Loss of Trees

The Emerald Ash Borer is taking out trees all over our city, and Rust is taking out a lot of the evergreens too, including the lovely huge tree we had in front of our house. It makes me heartsick to see these beautiful giants being felled and reduced to wood chips. It seems everywhere I look, there are orange Xs painted on tree trunks. I understand the need for it, and I know that removing them will allow light into the understory, causing new things to grow. It's the natural order of things, for the old to make room for the new. We will all have our successors, after all.

I suppose it's true of all growth, though -- there is always pain first. But rooting out the bad or unhealthy allows the good to flourish. Years ago I saw a counselor who told me something similar. When we are going to plant a garden, first we have to plow up the soil and root out what's there. It's a labour-intensive and painful thing. We may choose to plant the same thing again, or plant something totally different, it's up to us. We can choose what we nourish and cultivate. But there is usually loss and always turmoil before growth.

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