This is her manifesto, posted on social media:

I communicate for those with no voice. Can’t you hear them shriek as their spines crack! Cease the wanton destruction. Grant trees a reprieve; let nature prevail.

She climbs up into the branches of her favourite tree and awaits the nightmarish sounds of chainsaws and wood chippers. She is resolved: if the tree must die, then she will die with it.

mlmm Saturday Mix – same, same, but different word list: speak; cry; stop; allow; pop

A rant follows; I have yet to take up residence in a tree, but I may yet find myself doing so.

Today, my neighbourhood lost another healthy, mature tree to chainsaws and chippers. I understand homeowner’s fears; we cringe and cower during storms under large oaks that originate in our neighbour’s yard, holding our breathes until the sky clears, and the winds die down. (As the forecast suggests we will be doing tomorrow afternoon when severe thunderstorms blow through.) But these same trees provide us with benefits such as summer shade and brilliant autumn colours. They attract, throughout the seasons, the birds we enjoy watching in our yard.

I will grant that various storms, including superstorm sandy, did a lot of damage, knocking down limbs and whole trees. After each event, folks, understandably fretted about the mature trees still standing, even those which were healthy and strong.

I wish folks would consider tree-trimming when viable, rather than outright tree removal. Or, plant another tree, even a tiny sapling, as an investment for the future, which sadly is rarely done*. I wish the tree removal companies (we have a mega operation in our town) would try to conserve the wood, to use it to create lumber, fire wood and other wood products rather than turn all of it, good wood and bad, into mulch.

A county park in my neighbourhood was “regentrified” a few years ago; almost all the mature trees were removed, including a pocket forest. A half-hearted attempt was made to plant new trees; many didn’t make it. Terraced “gardens” of ill-suited shrubs languish; the dredged and rerouted creek is lifeless. I was so depressed by this whole-scale “deforestation,” I couldn’t go to the place for over a year after the destruction.

We noticed an immediate decline in the types and numbers of birds visiting our feeders (to say nothing of what we no longer heard or saw within the park). As more and more of the trees in my neighbourhood are taken down, this pattern continues. Lack of habit is decimating North American birds, many of whom had relied on urban/suburban trees. There were creatures who regularly wandered through our yard – many of which relied on trees for various reasons – we no longer see. When I’m out for my walks, on hot summer days I miss the “natural” air conditioning the trees along the streets once provided. I miss the 1000 shades of green in the spring; the flashes of gold, orange and red in the fall. I miss the trees; I do mourn their demise.

Sorry for the rant. The sound of chain saws, and chippers/shredders is painful to my heart. I am a guerrilla gardener “branching” out into planting trees, not just wild flowers.

*The Arbor Day organization joins with local groups in my town, county, state to give out free tiny saplings in my town.

I understand how much a replacement tree that’s a bit more developed can cost, and that homeowners/renters can’t always afford to purchase them. But that my town with it’s “Shade Tree Commission” hasn’t been replacing it’s trees lost to storm damage or removal is such a shame.

Loreena McKennitt’s haunting “Bony Portmore” is a eulogy to trees:

O bonny Portmore, I am sorry to see

Such a woeful destruction of your ornament tree

For it stood on your shore for many’s the long day

Till the long boats from Antrim came to float it away.

O bonny Portmore, you shine where you stand

And the more I think on you the more I think long

If I had you now as I had once before

All the lords in Old England would not purchase Portmore.

O bonny Portmore, you shine where you stand

And the more I think on you the more I think long

If I had you now as I had once before

All the Lords in Old England would not purchase Portmore.

All the birds in the forest they bitterly weep

Saying, “Where shall we shelter or where shall we sleep?”

For the Oak and the Ash, they are all cutten down

And the walls of bonny Portmore are all down to the ground.

O bonny Portmore, you shine where you stand

And the more I think on you the more I think long

If I had you now as I had once before

All the Lords of Old England would not purchase Portmore.

As a salve, watch the animated NFB short, The Man Who Planted Trees.

an overview from the Ottawa Animation Festival