Mundane Talk of Trees and Leaves | Mark’s Remarks - Republic-Times | News

Mundane Talk of Trees and Leaves | Mark’s Remarks

By on November 22, 2017 at 9:30 am

My yard has evolved somewhat since we first moved in 10 years ago. 

Two trees that were once there have since died mysterious deaths and had to be cut down. In fact, we’ve had some mysterious happenings involving trees in both our front and back yard.

A few weeks ago, I was standing on our deck, looking at a hopeless situation in my back yard. A big tree at the back of our property was standing there, looking very strange. The outer branches looked healthy and leafy, but there was a large chunk of the upper trunk that looked very dead. 

It looked as if a giant could stop by, pluck that dead portion off the tree, and the rest of the tree would go on and be fine.  The dead part of the tree was slanted at an angle, as is most of the tree. I stood there and stared at the tree, certain that the whole darn thing would eventually need to come down. 

The trampoline sits dangerously close to the tree and I could see disaster in our future if something wasn’t done. 

Fast forward a few days to the wind and rain that blew through town. “A tree fell in our backyard,” said the text from my wife later that day.  “It’s the one by the trampoline.” My heart sank. However, she had said nothing about the demise of the trampoline, so I went home that day with high hopes.

I walked out onto the leaf splattered deck, hoping to see something that could be easily cleaned up. The giant had visited! The dead part of the tree had indeed been plucked out and was now neatly nestled in my neighbor’s back yard. It had not fallen on anything. Perfect. I said a thank you to God, knowing that I hadn’t really voiced a prayer about this pesky tree, but knowing that He took care of it anyway.

My sweet neighbor lady was understanding and assured me that there was no hurry in getting the darn thing cut up. I went out with my trusty chain saw and cut off all the limbs, dragging them to the front yard to possibly still make the limb pick-up deadline. No luck. 

Since then, I’ve sawed them up a little more and carted them off the country home of some good friends. What a lot of hubbub for an old tree.

Then there is the mountain of leaves that are waiting to be raked up. I used to have a system in the front yard. I’d wait until most of them were down and then I’d blow them out away from the house and toward the road. There, I’d rake them into a pretty good pile parallel to the road where they’d wait to be sucked up by that fantastic leaf truck that comes around about this time every year.

Since the loss of those two trees in the front yard, there isn’t as much to do out there.  The lawn mower does a pretty good job of chewing the leaves up.

The back yard is like a jungle. There is an upper yard area and a play yard, a little lower.  My system back there is to blow and rake the leaves into the lower play yard and rake all the leaves onto a tarp for easy transportation, either to a burn pile or the front yard. There have been years that I’ve left them until spring time. Ugh.

I stood on the back deck once again today, smiling at the branchless tree trunk waiting to be cut up for a nice evening fire in the family room. I shifted my gaze and changed my smile to a scowl as I looked at the billions of pesky leaves, not pretty as they once were, stuck to the wet ground and taunting me.  I wondered if God was hearing my unvoiced prayer and my feelings of dread about cleaning this mess up.

After all, He took care of that dead tree and all. Perhaps a powerful wind storm or quick decomposing?

Mark Tullis

Mark is a 25-year veteran teacher teaching in Columbia. Originally from Fairfield, Mark is married with four children. He enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with his family, and has been involved in various aspects of professional and community theater for many years and enjoys appearing in local productions. Mark has also written a "slice of life" style column for the Republic-Times since 2007.