Trees On Pyre

While in the park this morning, I saw a massive slew of fallen trees the length of a city block somberly burning. I approached the man in charge and said, “How sad is this?”

“Not so much ma’am,” he answered, hiking up his jeans. “At least trees can be recycled into something else useful. Spoken like a true undertaker.

Why does the idea of mulch just not do it for me? This group didn’t even make the cut. He did say only half of them will be incinerated, a cheery word, and the rest will go into the grinder. That certainly picked me right up.

The smell was amazing – clean and crisp which also reminded me of how I wish those trees were all still standing. I make myself hug at least one before I leave the park, for morale’s sake, mine more than theirs. The landscape has too many bald spots that I know in time will be filled by bushes and plants, same as last year after Hurricane Irene. It’s a valiant effort by the Central Park Conservancy to try to make it seem as though nothing terrible ever happened.

But alas, I still miss my majestic sycamores that are being cremated as I write.

I hate feeling powerless, something I’ve been dealing with a lot lately. When I think how these strong, sturdy giants were just ripped from their roots right from the ground, it scares me to no end. I’ve taken their sudden demise quite personally as you can see.

One good thing is that my appreciation for them has risen considerably. Those trees that made it through are more beautiful to me than ever and my respect for nature has tripled 10 fold.

This morning when I was hugging Teddy, a huge oak I named long ago, I saw a new nest or maybe an old one I just never noticed before, built halfway up Teddy’s ample trunk. There were also two squirrels playing nearby while a third sat on a branch eating breakfast.

I found great comfort in all of this.

It made me realize…

I’m not the only one who must be in mourning.             


About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Thanks.
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12 Responses to Trees On Pyre

  1. Vasca says:

    I’m w/you on mourning for trees who become mulch or whatever! It always breaks my heart when someone cuts down a tree…bad enough when they’re accidentally uprooted in storms! It takes so long to grow a tree; a few minutes to do away w/it. Squirrels and birds? Evicted…


  2. Rob says:

    I don’t understand why they would want to burn or grind any of them. Sycamore is a beautiful timber.


  3. I’m with you, Susannah. There’s a huge land development around the corner here and the trees are falling like flies. Each tree is like a giant residential complex for a myriad critters and insects and god knows what else. Don’t the other trees get overcrowded when neighboring ones get felled?


    • I just know that it brings up much loss in me. A friend was telling me about the deer in Long Island, That because of these huge land developments they are running all over the place since their woods are no longer. He said he sees at least 10 running across the road every time when he drives home. Greed breeds carelessness and heartbreak. Nature needs to be respected more beginning with her trees.


  4. D. D. Syrdal says:

    I hope they’ll plant more trees to replace the fallen.


  5. Joan Blake says:

    I had my camera with me just so I could capture picture of rising vapors – it was still dark out and sight was unreal. Just to see so many old friends down. Amen I miss them.


  6. kerrycooks says:

    I agree – its so sad when trees go, especially if it seems like its pointless. I was super annoyed and sad last spring when the trees in a local park were cut back really severely – I thought they were going to be gotten rid of completely but it turned out that was just how they were pruned. They came back stronger the next year.


  7. Jed says:

    A beauty.


  8. merryprangster says:

    You should put “A Clearing In The Distance: Frederick Law Olmsted and America in the 19th Century” by Witold Rybczynski on your reading list if you haven’t already read it. Olmsted’s philosophy of landscape design was that it should span the ages and complements this post nicely.


    • I have read it but should again since it’s been years. I feel very fortunate to live so near Central Park. I remember reading about the bridal path, how the rich had their own carriages and everyone else could rent one. Now they don’t even allow horses anymore. Such a shame.


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