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This Is My Time To Care For What I Can

Finally watched the last leaves of a dying tree, a pin oak, blow off in the spring breeze. The health of the tree was in steady decline starting only about a year ago. The passing was abrupt, not entirely expected, and left us with a few decent weekends of sawing, splitting, hauling brush and logs. Spare time and sticktoitiveness is not the entire cost however. Given the close proximity to the house and pole shed, we had to have it dropped in pieces by a contractor with a bucket truck, a cost indeed.

Being acquainted with the coming and going of things, losing one tree out of many, especially when I’m not a big fan of trees in general, didn’t impact me greatly. What did impact me was the age. Once on the ground, my two sons found interest in counting the rings. We lost decent rings around 225 years. Assume it’s older, but 225 years puts its birthday somewhere around 1792. There have probably been a number of passers-by, people of different cultures, and oh my the historical events that occurred in its life time…. What? It had to die on my watch? Naturally.

A number of people have owned or at least claimed to own that tree, myself included. I prefer to replace ownership with stewardship, as we all should with all things, especially natural resource related. This is my time to care for what I can. Within reason, whether its spare time, physical exhaustion, broken equipment, or actual out of pocket money, as a temporary steward I’m willing to pay. Trees, diverse ecosystems, clean water, etc. What I don’t do now will be the next steward’s problem. Stop now and I couldn’t look myself in the mirror.

Jesse Neihart
Two Oaks in Scandia

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