tree stumps conservation
The paper towel dispenser at my daughter’s preschool has a small note attached to it that implores the prospective hand-dryer to “please use only two towels…save a tree!”. But instead of considering the ecological impact of paper towels each time I’ve confronted this note, I find myself questioning the financial health of the school, or the potential drying power that two towels might offer.

I bring this up because my neighbor recently had a large tree on his property cut down. This was not a sickly, or even particularly old tree. Sure, it was probably 40 or 50 years old. But I consider that to be middle-aged in tree years. No, this was a beautiful tree. Full and green and symmetrical. The kind of tree that contributes to the neighborhood’s reputation as having “nice trees”. And it was visible from the window of the StudioSayers office. Sometimes I would stand and watch it filter the afternoon sun as I contemplated a creative impasse.

So when I saw the tree killers arrive (arborists, they’re called, which sounds more like someone devoted to the preservation of trees) and begin to survey their intended victim, I was a little alarmed. I tried to convince myself that they were there for a simple pruning, but the interminable babble of their chain saws over the course of the afternoon proved otherwise. Before long, I watched with my nose pressed to the window as the bare trunk of the tree, stripped naked of limbs and dignity, came crashing to the yard with a heavy earthen shudder.

The note at my daughter’s preschool has a new meaning nowadays. I’m feeling just a little bit less removed from those issues around me that had previously gone unnoticed.

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