My father's tree

| 15 Feb 2012 | 10:20

    My father planted a Norway spruce in our yard in 1968. As it grew in size and stature it became more and more beautiful. It shaded the house from the summer sun and broke the cold winter winds. It protected the nesting birds in the spring and sheltered the birds and small mammals in winter. The fall also saw its beauteous dark green accenting the reds, yellows and browns of that season. It was a strong tree. As others succumbed to age, insects and other arboreal maladies, it survived. It never lost a branch, even during floods, hurricanes, snow or ice. Oh, occasionally it would shed a small twig (never longer than 10”). And in its mature years, it dropped a few cones. But, all in all it was a neat tree. Our family protected it and provided space for its growth — sacrificing other trees and garden plantings. In return it gave us great joy, especially in the winter. On a bright sunny day after a snow storm, we’d go out and shovel. Occasionally, we’d take a break and gaze up in wonder at my father’s tree, in all its glory. It would be draped so beautifully with the blankets of snow or glistening with ice on every needle. The site rewarded and refreshed us. Personally, I’ve traveled all over the world and to every state and province. There have been many beautiful and wondrous sites in all those miles. But, still it was my father’s tree that always brought a smile and a warm loving feeling in my heart. Now...Thanks to JCP&L, the heart has been cut out of my father’s tree. For years I’d stayed home to protect it on trimming days. Spruce has never been on the JCP&L list of trees to be trimmed, but I watched and advised, none the less. And the trimmers had always been sensitive and we worked together on the project. But this year they didn’t come on the promised day, but three weeks late and I wasn’t home to protect it. If you wish to see the result, come up to Edison Terrace in the next couple of weeks. After that it probably will be gone. Friends have pointed out that it is now top-heavy and weighted on one side. Thus weakened, a strong wind could snap it off. My father has been gone for many years now. My mother joined him a couple of years ago. And, now, father’s tree.