It had not been doing well for the past two or three years, and last year I studied it often trying to get up the energy to cut down some of the dead branches. I never did, and this year the number of dead branches had more than doubled. It was time to say goodbye.
A side benefit of the economic downturn is that when you need something done, it is possible to get it done right away. Monday the estimator came and gave me a bid and Tuesday the crew arrived and took down the tree, removed the stump, and, while in the neighborhood, trimmed the crab tree in the front. For several hours their chain saw and stump chopper drowned out the incessant beep, beep, beep of the road crew working in the next block. Today, the beeping is back, and my back yard feels naked.
I thought the dogs might miss the tree. I have no idea why I thought it would make any difference to them. Obviously, I was anthropomorphizing again. (Wow, that's a long word) They have a great time digging in the loose dirt and wood chips, and eating I don't know what in the process.
Today I shall look for a new tree for the back yard. Probably a flowering crab that will not grow as large as a maple, but will provide some shade, some color and some sense of adornment for my bleak and barren yard. Perhaps I should also plant more flowers. Life ends and life is renewed and changed, but where it has ended, there is a big, empty space.