Take all the trees, put ’em in a tree museum …

There’s been an epidemic of tree cutting around our and my mother-in-law’s houses lately. I don’t know if there are really that many trees that were in such bad shape they needed to be cut down, or if there are just a lot of people who 1) don’t want to rake leaves and/or clean gutters, and 2) have completely forgotten (if they ever knew) the benefits of trees.

My birth dad told me that when he and Liz moved into their house (this is in North Texas), the house would get so hot in summer that you almost couldn’t touch the interior walls. So, over the years, they planted and encouraged the trees on their lot and now summer’s a lot more bearable — plus I’m sure their air conditioning bills are a lot lower!

Myself, I remember the trees that shaded the house I grew up in. We never had air conditioning — just the house equivalent of 4/40 in a car (4 windows/40 mph). Except on the absolute hottest, most windless days, we’d just open all the windows and catch the cross-breeze; I remember a lot of lovely, cool days on those rare occasions we kids were actually IN the house, plus the whisper of the breeze, especially at night, and the sound of rain pattering on leaves. There were a couple of catalpa trees (also known a cigar trees for their long seed pods), a sassafras, several different maples, including the sugar maple my sister and I used to climb, lots of locusts, which seemed to reproduce like Triffids, a handful of pines and the most wonderful crab apple tree that smelled so wonderful in spring when it was in bloom.

I feel sorry for these people (including my mother-in-law, unfortunately) who really seem to hate trees, to the point where they don’t even want them on their property. They’re not helping themselves with their attitudes, and worse, they’re damaging the rest of us, too.

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