Ode To Our Elm

We got the news today, oh boy – our elm tree is dying of Dutch Elm Disease. As Master Gardeners we thought that was the case, but wanted to get some expert opinions. We met with two different arborists this week and they both came to the same conclusion – she needs to come down. They say it’s too late to save her. Before telling you more about her, I wanted to post this beloved poem to her.

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
~ Joyce Kilmer

She suffered quite a bit of damage in the 2009 Ice Storm, but she seemed like she was going to be fine.

Ice Storm 2009

That’s her trunk on the left.

This spring we decided that we wanted a larger shade garden and planned to include her.

Dave marking our future shade area. She's on the left.

Below Dave is marking the area right in front of her where we have planted azaleas.

On that warm day in April she was fine. But then a little over a week ago we noticed that her leaves were falling on the deck. Looking up we saw she was almost 50% dead.

This is how she looks now.

All of the branches over the porch are dead and the left side of the tree. There is evidence that the “good” half of the tree is also infected. You can see that we are still working on the shade garden.

This tree, from what we’ve been told, is at least 100 years old.

Now we’re getting estimates on funeral arrangements. It’s a sad day here at Happy Acres.