Our Ash Tree & A Million Questions

Owl In City of Naperville
Don’t know where the picture came from

I recently had to try to explain why our tree died in our back yard to our three-year-old. You would think it would be simple and to the point but the conversion ended up more like a ping pong match of “but why’s” .  It’s amazing of the mental stamina that a toddler can have in within conversation when they are persistent in either not listening or just wanting their way.  When we did have the tree removed we had to discuss it with our toddler a week in advance, which perpetuated the non-stop questioning of why can’t we keep the tree.  The tree died because a storm broke off a significant portion of the tree a couple years ago, leaving damage and the inner bark exposed to insects and disease. Initially, we had a tree service evaluate the tree and they said it had to come down, but we waited in hopes that the tree would revive itself and thrive.   Well… that never happened and the tree was most likely died because of stress and other infestations.  Eventually, the city cited us with a warning that stated we needed to hire a tree removal company, by April 1st. , yea April fools day, no joke or the city was going to issue a $5oo dollar fine and we would still need to remove the tree.  The pressing issue with the tree is not that it was an ash tree.  Ash trees are prone to two individual dangers.  The first is the emerald ash borer that lay it eggs in the tree and the larvae eat the inner part of the tree and kill the tree. If the tree were to have larvae, and the tree still standing, the ash tree would be infested with the beetles and spread the infestation when the larvae turn into little green beetles.  The second issue is that ash trees become very unstable when there is no more life in them, and they can just fall at any given notice because, unlike oak trees, the ash wood is weak.

The day the tree service came our toddler was glued to the window pane watching the tree service cutting down the old friend into little pieces and forced into a wood chipper.  It may have been the beginning of an understanding for our toddler that not everything lives forever and sometimes life is not fair.

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