(this image is from the internet)
Sadly the larger of the two trees got some sort of disease. We called about it, looked at books and tried various remedies to no avail......it slowly stopped growing. We ended up having someone come and take it out. I felt so bad as they chopped and chopped and heaved out the rest from the ground. A gaping hole reminder that it had once existed, once shaded, once bore fruit, once gave an organization in this area bags and bags of its fruit for the homeless.
The smaller of the two trees kept trying like "the little tree that could"......the start of an orange would show and quickly fall off the branches. The fruit was bitter and no longer did anyone ask for it. G was ready to have IT removed too as apparently it had the same disease....but I just couldn't do it. In fact I insisted it be spared. So it stayed. I know I've told you about this before. Part of it still has leaves in abundance as you look from one side.......but the other side is dry and leafless and the bark is peeling off. Two sides to her personality I guess.
It's sad but even teeny tiny, what might have been oranges, appeared but never ripened. A couple of years ago I decided to make it a B&B for the birds because fruit or not THEY still liked sitting in it. We hung some regular feeders and a hummingbird feeder and they came in droves. It brought the little tree back to life in that the sounds of the birds and the fluttering of wings could be heard within its branches. I will be putting more feeders out there and somehow hang a birdbath for them.
I am even thinking as the bark continues to fall off that perhaps we will strip those areas to the smooth wood underneath and I will paint it. Using something nontoxic of course. I am even planning to make some tree spirit flags (after seeing Sharon's lovely flags) and hanging them throughout the dried branches. I think this tree, this tree that was spared and given a new purpose deserves a bit of dressing up....a B&B the birds will tell others from far and wide is like the PLAZA of all trees. A monument to sparing its life and giving it a new purpose.
Greenery still rears its head in odd places as if to naturally beautify what's left.
It's brittle and dry branches don't deter the birds at all. They sometimes blend in. I've used some of the more twiggy branches in art projects.
The bark bit by bit hangs on for dear life in some spots, as if to say once I let it go I'm doomed.
In the crux of the tree at the bottom the bark has left in some spots and in others it looks as though it's been glued back on. The tree is so smooth underneath it and is getting bleached by the sun like driftwood.
A long time ago G topped off the tree but it never grew back, the flat tops stayed and stand against the sky as a reminder it is what it is now.
and yet when you turn to another view point it seems full of life still. Determined as ever this "little tree that could"
If you stand in just the right spot there are still blossoms, some browned and drooping to look at but there is that unmistakable scent that they emit despite their look. It's an intoxicating lovely fragrance that standing in the sweet spot you can close your eyes and imagine the tree full and healthy still.
While I was out there taking pictures today I was wondering how old this tree must be....the house was built in 1949 so I can only assume the trees were planted around the same time. This tree has seen the neighborhood change........buildings across the street giving way to actual homes many years later....only three sets of occupants have lived in this house....the original owners....then a couple of girls who rented it and then us. I wonder if we didn't live here if those owners would have spared this Grand Dame. Somehow I don't think so.
The prayer flags are hung for her.....................long may she be Orangewood B&B, long may she be "the little tree that could".
Perhaps I will fashion a crown for her to wear at the very top of her, let those that only see a tree that has lost its luster know she still reigns supreme.
I hope you are having a lovely start to your week.
Go hug a tree!