Goodbye, Old Friend

hackberry tree

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Husband and I have been rather hard on trees in our life together. Days after we moved into our first house, a huge tulip elm in our backyard got hit by lightning, taking out the top third or so of the tree. Luckily it didn’t hit the house or the fence, but it had to go anyway.

A few years later when we were having that discussion about whether to move or build onto that first house, we compromised by adding a sunroom off our bedroom. It was a nice idea, though we never used it as much as we thought we would. To build it, we had to cut down a redbud tree, which was in full bloom at the time. I still feel kind of bad about that.

Our new house — that we’ve now been in almost two years! — was a new construction on an old wooded lot, and we knew the trees that were left behind needed some help. On the side of the house was an old dead oak tree that certainly had to be taken out, but we’d been waffling for a long time about this guy.

hackberry tree
Our hackberry tree in its former glory.

This huge hackberry tree sat in the middle of our backyard. It made a lot of shade, which was lovely. But it also had this giant wound, we think maybe from an old lightning strike. It looked like it predated the great ice storm of ought-nine, but maybe not.

The tree seemed to be otherwise in pretty good shape (our tree guy noted they are hard to kill) but it was pretty ugly, and kept us from being able to have a garden or much of a level place of any sort in our back yard.

So, last week that giant tree turned into this.

hackberry stump
The Bit playing around the stump. She has no sense of seasons. Not that our local weather does, either, but it was actually cold this day.

It’s still a little shocking, but we have really big plans for the yard. Retaining walls, a fire pit, a bigger deck. It’s awesome in our minds and I hope will be really cool in reality as well.

I’m sorry that tree got in the way. It was a great place to hide for hide and seek, a waypoint in our pretend Dora games and gave shade to all sorts of celebrations and cookouts.

The girl, on the other hand, is pretty darn excited. She knows this means she gets a swingset.

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