Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Rowan Tree...

I have lived in my tree house for 14 years, and during that time I have watched the trees outside my windows grow and change. They're home to nests of birds, as well as to families of squirrels and the occasional raccoon and skunk. The Japanese plum trees and the cherry trees provide a colourful show of pink blossoms in the spring, and then brilliant red and orange leaves in the fall.  Of all the trees, my favourite is the Rowan tree (Mountain Ash) which grows on the property next door, just outside my bedroom window. I love to watch it as it changes throughout the seasons. First the leaves develop, and then the white berries grow and they change to bright red in the late summer. In the fall, flocks of birds feast on the berries and then fly around drunk, crashing into each other.  It's a hoot.

This year I have been waiting for the leaves to appear on the Rowan tree and I wondered why they were taking so long, while everything else was already in full leaf.  And then, a couple of weeks ago, I realized the leaves will never appear on the tree again.  It has been choked to death by the ivy growing up its trunk.  The beautiful Mountain Ash ~~ by which I measured the seasons, watching its leaves and berries ~~ has gone forever.  Every time I look at it, I think of the Giant's garden in Oscar Wilde's "The Selfish Giant"Then the Spring came, and all over the country there were little blossoms and little birds. Only in the garden of the Selfish Giant it was still winter. The birds did not care to sing in it as there were no children, and the trees forgot to blossom. "I cannot understand why the Spring is so late in coming," said the Selfish Giant, as he sat at the window and looked out at his cold white garden; "I hope there will be a change in the weather."

The folks who own that property have been hiring professional landscapers to look after the grounds and mow the lawn, so I expect one day to come home and find the tree gone.  I must admit, I don't think the landscapers have done a very good job and I will miss the Rowan tree and the crazy, drunken birds.  What a difference one tree can make.


KrippledWarrior said...

Not disagreeing one iota. I just never heard of such a thing from a common Ivy. WoW. That's a shame.

Auntie sezzzzzz... said...

What a loss. What a sad story. Another case of the cruelty of Nature. The ding-dang ivy grew up its trunk and choked it to death.

A lot like what our neighbor's dang Binder Weed does, to our garden. Or did. When we had the garden area cleaned out this spring... It was such a mess that we olden folk couldn't do it ourselves...

Well, they suggested they take out a sweet little bush which "Uncle A." had been nursing along. They said it was in bad shape, and you could see it wasn't doing that well.

BINDER WEED (Vine) had come over and grown up in it and was probably choking it. Not helping it anyway. :-(((((((((

It is my Quest this summer, to keep our back of our yard free of Binder Weed! My Quest! I just *hate* that invasive thing!

So sorry this happened to a beloved tree of yours. Even tho it wasn't on your land. -sigh-


Auntie sezzzzzz... said...

Mmmm, and I see that "Krippled Warrior" said he never heard of that being done by a common ivy.

WAS it a COMMON ivy?

WAS it a variation on Binder Weed (Vine)????

Run for the hills!!!


Leslie: said...

Oh, what a shame! Wish I could have seen those drunken birds...they would have fit in with the Canucks fans right now. lol

Kathryn said...

I'd never heard of that from ivy either.

It is always so sad when there is such a loss. We lost 2 trees in the winter last year, and it looks like we lost our aspen tree this year too. I find that so sad.

All the squirrels have died, too. I'd heard of that about 25 miles west of us last year. I guess whatever the disease happens to be, it worked its way east. I miss our funny, crazy squirrels.

A human kind of human said...

This is also strange to me. You must have very powerful Ivy over there in Canada (lol).

DJan said...

How very sad. Yes, it will be gone soon, because it's definitely been killed by that ivy. Sigh...

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I have also loved a single tree as a very dear friend, so I know how it feels. I'm so sorry that your lovely friend has been killed when it could easily have been prevented. Do you think you might be able to find a small one to keep in a large pot on your deck?

Susan said...

A sad loss for all the residents of your complex...human and animals alike. We have a young rowan that we planted in the back last year. Heidi grew it from a stray seedling, likely deposited by a bird!

Deedee said...

So sad to lose a beautiful tree! here in southern New England we have had a terrible scourge this year in the form of some small caterpillars that stripped many trees bare last month. It seemed to favor maples, oaks and some of the smaller flowering ornamentals- I hope they can all recover.

PinkPanthress said...

My mother always tells me to never have Ivy around your house, it is not good for the facade. And to also never plant it beside other plants.
I guess she did mean to avoid, what you observed there.

Also, the birds getting drunk was hilarious!!

Linda Myers said...

We had a huge and beautiful weeping willow tree on our street that leaned out over the road. In a windstorm six years ago, it fell down. I still miss it.

Today I went out into our easement and pulled morning glory vines off the native plans. Got to keep ahead of that vine, pretty as it is.

Anil P said...

Such a shame the ivy choked it. And the birds will now wonder what happened to the tree.

Reminds me of the two gorgeous Gulmohars that brought the sky outside my window to life with their blossoms in spring, and the many birds that came to frolic among its blossoms.

The termites brought it down. I realised it late, and nothing I did then on could reverse the damage.

Both came hurtling down within days of one another!

Anonymous said...

Sad to hear the passing of the Rowan Tree. I have a half remembered idea that the rowan Tree was of significance to druids. Do you know anything about that?

PhilipH said...

Strangled to death by poison Ivy; so sad.

I think that I shall never see A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day, And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me, But only God can make a tree.

Alfred Joyce Kilmer.

When I re-discovered my first love (Stella) I planted a tiny 'Stella' cherry tree here in my cottage garden.
Sadly, Stella died a few years ago but the tree goes from strength to strength. I love it. It will outlive me. Trees are beautiful and essential to our wellbeing.

Paula Slade said...

I am a "tree hugger" in the literal as well as figurative sense, so your story makes me sad. I too mark the passage of time with the blossoms and the leaves. Last year, a neighbor, down the road, deforested his property - it was disturbing to see.