Inset photo: Golden ash leaves carpet the ground in better days
A last look at the ash tree we had planted 20+ years ago. We had hoped its relative isolation from other ash trees would protect it from infestation by the emerald ash-borer, but the damned beetle found it. So did the city tree guys. A removal notice accompanied the orange dot of death.
We have a history with the tree, so we’ll miss it. It once thrashed $300 worth of shingles from our roof, whipping them off in a high wind with its sweeping branches. City crews eventually trimmed it away from the house, so extremely that it came to resemble a palm tree … all trunk with a pom pom of leaves on top.
Funny enough, we chose the ash to add variety to the plantings around us. We figured that if disease ravished one species, at least others would survive. Ubiquitous Norway maples just keep chugging along. Our ash tree variant goes under. Our other attempt at variety, a sugar maple, strangled itself to death a couple of years ago. A skinny stick of a tree now stands in its place.
So our shade situation is taking a hit around here. What should replace the ash? A mighty oak might do the trick … in 40 or 50 years.