The inconvenient tree

Another day, another few lime trees lost. They were pollards, and too small to be defendable, though they had been there a long time. There are no records of how long ago they were planted, and even when they are felled we may not know for sure. Oliver Rackham tells us that lime trees can sometimes miss a year’s growth ring. I’m unsure of the mechanism for this. Is it just when they get pollarded? Or do the limes sometimes just sulk for a year and refuse to grow?

I won’t be there to count the rings anyway. Most tree removals happen when I am elsewhere, and I notice in passing they are gone some months later. These trees, honestly, were not so noticeable, hence the lack of protection, so I may never notice what happened there. Still, it makes me melancholy to know that these living parts of our history are slowly being lost. They are inconvenient, it’s true, but then so are some people. I fully expect to be an inconvenience to others in my old age. Inconvenience should not be the last word. Of course, I wouldn’t put trees on a par with humans, in terms of the inconveniences we should endure from them, but they are living things, and they have been there a long time. I often think we should put up with more inconvenience than this.

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