The tree arrived in a pot—scrawny and with little foliage to help identify it.
A woman where my husband worked wanted the tree removed. Carry it away. She had no use for the seedling.
My husband had a thing about trees. He couldn’t kill it even though he didn’t think the tree would survive—the roots were so tightly bound in the container. Since the trunk appeared to be cedar, he planted what he believed would become a medium-sized tree in a front corner of our property.
But it did grow.
And grew some more.
Its branches provided highways for squirrels to navigate the yard, leaping from tree to roof to fence and back again. Birds found niches for nests. Cats climbed high enough to become afraid and needed help getting down. The house over which it towered drew shade from its covering in the afternoon sun—a majestic canopy that reached for the sky.
Like the ugly duckling who changed into a swan, the tree’s cedar beginnings transformed into a giant Sequoia, posing a potential hazard because of where it stood—nearly eighty feet of trouble.
Snow and ice storms always brought silence to the landscape, but the unmistakable crack of a falling branch broke the stillness. Limbs at the top wouldn’t drop to the ground. They’d catch in the branches midway and hang, waiting for a stiff breeze and an unsuspecting victim.
The tree that began as a seedling nobody wanted became a tree no one could keep.
And so, with a heavy heart, my husband made the decision to have it taken down. The tree company’s logger thought he could remove it in a day, but taking it down took two. The logs lay like shattered remnants of a life that used to be. Despair followed remorse for what had to be done.
Psalm 30:5 (NIV) tells us: “Weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.”
Our satisfaction came two weeks later in the form of a bobcat loader and an operator who transported the logs to a mill. The Sequoia was to be made into decking lumber to adorn a patio at the back of a house. The tree who had so long guarded a yard would once again add to its beauty, surely making many visiting squirrels, chirping birds, and meandering cats happy as it had all those years before.