Saying Good-By to a Tree

Trees touch my soul.  I experience them as sisters and brothers.

The decision to cut down a tree is an agony, regardless of any imperative like the one we faced in our front yard. Invasive ficus tree roots threatened our house foundation.  When we planted this ficus, 15 years ago, we were shortsighted and uninformed.

Like all my other tree relatives, I loved this one.  Her shimmering canopy of year-round green filled my peripheral vision, as I work at my desk. It blocked my view of a large lamppost, muffled the traffic noise, and saved us from incalculable amounts of traffic grime.

Last week, the day before the tree guys were scheduled to cut down our ficus and grind her stump, I created a simple ceremony to help me say good-by.

Dressing the tree with flowers and fabric
helped me feel connected, claim responsibility,
express gratitude, and prepare for the loss.

In due time, with an arborist’s input and
careful discernment, we’ll plant another tree.
The mulch from grinding our ficus stump and
surface roots will nourish the new tree–beauty
to beauty.