This is a story about a tree--not a grove (as in the lovely Welsh song The Ash Grove)--but just one tree.
When we moved to the house we live in--some 30 plus years ago--it was a barren place. No trees, just mounds of dirt from dug-out basements and other construction detritus.
The wind would blow out of the northwest--sometimes quite fiercely, making the master bedroom the coldest room in the house. So we set about to plant trees.
We planted bare-root stock 18 inch high evergreens, various types. And we planted an oak tree, a blue atlas cedar, two dogwoods, and a Japanese maple.
We also planted a green ash tree, known for its hardiness and ability to withstand wind. That tree was planted on the northwest corner.
All the trees grew robustly. With the evergreens--so much so that we had to take out every other tree. When trees are 18 inches tall they look mighty puny, so we got them too close together.
All was well...until this year.
This year, the tree did not come into to full leaf--parts looked downright sparse.
We called our tree guy. and he took one look and said--emerald ash borer beetle. Oh, no!
He cut away some branches, and said we might get this year out of the tree. It has provided such wonderful shade over our sunporch. Plus it is the place we put squirrel whirl-a-gigs on which to put corncobs for squirrels to eat...and entertain us.
This is not the sign of a healthy tree--see how frantically it is trying to stay alive by putting out enormous leaves along the side of the trunk.
Come fall, we will have to say goodbye to the ash tree. There is little likelihood that we can replace it with a tree large enough to provide all the shade the ash tree did.
Farewell, ash tree.