We booked a date for some tree loppers to visit yesterday. It was a little overdue, which is a habit we tend to get in to, with our trees. We really value their shade. On the other hand, it then requires the experts to remove something of a monolith. Or in this case, two.
Last morning light
You can see them in the centre, standing side by side. They are hardwood, Spotted gums, and have been here longer than us. They provided shade even as young trees, on our dry creek bed. Hardly any vegetation was growing down in our lower gully, back then, so we wanted them to stay.
As larger trees, they even survived the 2011 Queensland floods. Receiving the full torrent of water, coming down from our slopes - they held the soil together with their indomitable roots. All manner of debris was wrapped around their trunks, afterwards. We have a lot to thank those trees for. Shade, soil protection and plenty of good memories, hanging out, under the trees.
Many years growth
But then, they grew too big for their location. Their wonderful canopy was starting to block our solar panels (hot water and power) and with every year they grew taller, they were becoming a liability to the house, should they decide to fall over. Which eucalyptus trees, are known to do.
So that is why we called the tree loppers. Logically, it makes sense, but then you can't help but mourn a little afterwards, too.
Seeing them laid out like that, knowing how awesome they were as trees, made us feel like a couple of bad guys. Unlike the casurina tree we took down recently, these were much larger, and there's something magical about growing older (and watching your kids too) under the shade of the same trees. I don't think having the virus helped, as we couldn't get to work straight way, putting them to rest, properly.
When we get our strength back, they will become edging to hold back the soil, making low retaining walls, with their trunks. Where they'll become food for the termites and all manner of insects and soil microbes.
So they will continue in our landscape, but in a slightly different way. From towering trees, to microscopic life, inside the soil. I was reminded of this, when I glanced upon the sawdust, sprinkled across their trunk.
It will take some time, and quite a few growing seasons, for that much carbon to transform into soil. But it's a resource in our landscape all the same. So we look forward to using it.
We really are fortunate to have so many trees, spring up naturally. But then you have to strive for some kind of balance too. We're always trying to work on that. Which is why we have our eye on some smaller trees, around the house, which need to come out too. Before they become monoliths. The aim is to replace them with equally hardy, but naturally smaller, in stature, trees.
I'm thinking macadamia nut trees, and some diciduous ones, to add fertility to the soil at leaf drop. It should add more diversity to the environment, with the remnants of these twin trees, to get them off to a good start.