The previous owners of our home renovated the house in order to sell it after their father had died. During the winter of that renovation, some street people had broken in and built a small fire on the second floor in order to keep warm. The obvious fire occurred. The house was saved and renovated yet again (in fact a lovely two-story open atrium as a solution to the burnt floor), but the Silver Maple outside was badly burnt.
We have since learned that the Silver Maple has very thin bark and being burnt often aggravates its tendency to rot. That happened about 23 years ago and the silver maple has struggled valiantly since then to survive. Large, heavy branches have fallen, once smashing a neighbor’s truck, and once piercing another neighbor’s roof after storms and high winds. Cascading branches have smashed pickets around the garden. We still have a large fallen branch in the front garden, gently and safely rotting, which is fully covered by ivy and disappeared by ferns in the summer. We have watched, through the upstair windows, a peregrine falcon eating a pigeon in its branches and watched baby squirrels scurry inside hollowed out parts of the trunk. We will count the rings in its stump this weekend.
23 years is quite a long time to fight the rot.
JB sent me this email today:
OUR EAST GARDEN TREE OF 22 YEARS WITH US
HAS PASSED ON
A LONG AGE
A HOLLOWING OUT
THIS SILVER MAPLE
WITH THE AID
OF LOGGER SAWS