Magnolia in Memoriam

…or how you should also use that fancy camera in your pocket to snap pictures of the things you take for granted.

One of the special things about our house when we bought it was a big, old magnolia tree, standing in the front garden facing the street. It must have been planted only a few years after the house was build and whenever I am working the garden I would get compliments about the tree and be asked to please never fell the tree.

The Tree

In early spring:

Magnolia Tree - April 11, 2011
Magnolia Tree – April 11, 2011

In bloom:

Magnolia Tree - April 27, 2008
Magnolia Tree – April 27, 2008

The End

Every time the tree was complimented and people told me to please never fell the tree I would reply that there was no plans of removing the tree.  Well, no plan of operations extends with certainty beyond the first encounter with the enemy’s main strength 1, and in last November came snow and lots of it. There were broken trees all around, in our garden also.

The morning after:

Magnolia Tree - November 22, 2015
Magnolia Tree – November 22, 2015

And after the snow melted away:

Magnolia Tree - November 25, 2015
Magnolia Tree – November 25, 2015

Looking at the damages, we decided that the right thing to do was to remove the tree – with such deep wounds it would be unlikely to recover and instead fall sick and in any case be in danger of breaking further apart in storms and snow:

Wound on tree:

Magnolia Tree, damage - February 24, 2016
Magnolia Tree, damage – February 24, 2016

We called a gardener and on Feruary 24 the job was done.

Before:

Magnolia Tree - February 24, 2016
Magnolia Tree – February 24, 2016

After:

(no) Magnolia, February 24, 2016
(no) Magnolia, February 24, 2016

I did count year rings on the stub and there were about 50 as expected  (the house is from 1965).

Now we are looking forward and plan to start over with a new magnolia. Or perhaps a crap-apple. Some good is to come out of this.

Apart from being a story about how all good things come to an (maybe unexpected) end, this is also a reminder to make sure to photograph not only the new and unusual we see, but also the things we take for granted and believe will just be there forever. When I was looking for photos for this post I was surprised to find very few of the tree in full bloom. Lesson Learned: also use that camera in the pocket to snap the unexceptional things we would still be sorry to loose.

Related Posts

Garden Diary 2015

Garden Diary 2016

  1. wrote Helmuth von Moltke the Elder, who is, however, more often quoted as “no plan survives contact with the enemy”.