The first order of business is to trim or cut down trees, some of which were interfering with power lines, or wrecking the sidewalks with their surface roots, or both.
Today I witnessed the demise of a big old sycamore that stood on the northwest corner of Broadway and W. Elm (right across the street from me, so I had good views).
My heart and my head are at war over this--my heart cries for the lovely tree, its long life, it's surviving the ice storm of 2007, and the shade it's given us all these years, particularly the shade it's given our neighbor's front porch over there. And besides, sycamores are one of my favorite kinds of trees. I love sycamores. They're gorgeous, tall, and strong. A little messy, but they make up for it in wonder and grace.
But my head knows that this tree was doomed from the minute it was planted. Indeed, my dad told me that when the then-neighbor-lady put it in the ground and still had the shovel in her hands, my grandma had walked across the street to tell her it was absolutely the wrong kind of tree in the wrong place: "That sycamore's going to get too tall! The electric company's going to come and butcher it because it will interfere with the power lines!"
And yes, it is--it was--right there on the corner, getting butchered and hacked at nearly every other year by those coarse fellows the electric company brings in from out of town to do their quick, sloppy work.
But today a local tree trimming company made short, careful, elegant work of taking it apart and turning it into mulch. I wonder what they do with the biggest limbs and the massive chunks of bole?
It was really something to see. But my heart does ache today.
It's true, we're excited to get new sidewalks and gutters--but anytime a big ol' tree has to be felled in the prime of life, it's sad.
Following are a series of pictures I took from our top window. They started about 1:30 this afternoon, and it was all over by about 4:15.