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Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Under the Beechwood Trees

By Lyn Burnstine of The Lynamber Times


On the lush front lawn of our building, I often draw inspiration for writing while sitting on the benches under the trees: the lone horse chestnut, the maples, oaks and beechwoods. The birds love the dense overhead canopy, as I do.

One bench is flanked on both sides by beechwood trees, the smaller of the two obviously a sapling from the huge mother tree alongside it. The original tree is now just a six-foot-tall rotting stump, probably twelve feet or more around. The huge stump is home to shelf bracket mushrooms that spiral it in wavy patterns and lots of insects that are speeding the deterioration. There are large concrete patches where an unsuccessful attempt was made at one time to save the tree’s life.

One would have to look hard to find a more beautiful tree than the beechwood: closely-clustered round, glossy leaves that sparkle in the sun and a smooth, grey leathery trunk that looks and feels like an elephant’s hide.

The closeness of these trees to Beechwood Avenue makes me wonder if this entire neighborhood may once have been thick with this kind of tree. Most of the remaining ones in our wooded acreage are behemoths – some dead and dying. Large stumps are mute evidence of their having broken and fallen or been cut down for safety.

Years since returning to my childhood farmland where I was moved to write a poem called Tears For the Trees, I still find it painful to think of all those lovely trees being decimated for one more patch of Illinois cornfields. I once sent a sympathy card to a neighbor when a lightning strike took out half of her tree, necessitating its complete removal.

I think I understand those people who throw themselves in front of bulldozers and woodsmen to save trees. I might be moved to do that if my beloved beechwoods were threatened.


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Posted by Ronni Bennett at 02:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


Beech trees are amongst the natural wonders of the world. We have a giant sitting in the field outside the house which is actually under a tree preservation order and may therefore not be felled.
Are there such provisions in the US?

A lovely ode to Beechwood trees. I don't think we have any in Arizona, but all trees are beautiful and deserve to be protected.

I doubt if there are any preservation orders, but it would probably be disregarded anyway. I got into the fight too late to save, from being hacked down,here on this property, many saplings of one of our most beautiful flowering trees--the redbud. Fortunately, it's a prolific tree and quickly re-seeded itself.

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