We’ve been in Pittsburg for 24 years and we’ve been in our house for 23. As I look out my window, my view of the street is blocked by trees. None of these trees were here when we moved into the house. Jean and I planted every single one of them ourselves. Some of them we rescued from Walmart. One of them comes from an acorn some squirrel buried. It was too close to our house and we transplanted it.
In our yard, we’ve got oaks; we’ve got gum trees; we’ve got holly bushes; we’ve got redbud trees; we’ve got cherry trees; we’ve got peach trees; we’ve got a linden tree; we’ve got a walnut tree; and we even have a tree of heaven.
Of those, only the walnut and the tree of heaven were here when we moved in. There were other trees. There was an elm that died a slow and exceedingly painful death at the hands of dutch elm. There was a cantankerous old cherry tree that got sicker and sicker and sicker. There was a maple that sat on the property line and had a long limb that hung out over our neighbor’s. There was also a row of 17 pine trees along the property line on one side of the house. They are all gone now. As a tree man told us once, everything grows old and dies.
When we moved in, we benefited from the trees that were already here. When they died off, we felt we had an obligation to replace them. This was not a burden for us because we like trees. Not everybody does. Some of the most vociferous anti-tree folks you will see are among those who trim trees for a living. I’ve had them tell me they’ve cut down every tree in their yard. I suppose the professionals, having to deal with trees so much, see some things that are hard to see.