I decided on a bark collecting mission prior to a big heatwave we were expecting, so I went out with my trusty bike trailer and a couple of sacks to collect from this glorious Eucalyptus Scoparia. I was hailed by the woman who lives directly across the road from the tree: ‘Oh, you are a good man!’ Eventually we left the gender confusion (and her embarassment about it) to one side and she embarked on explaining that the council hadn’t swept her street for two months. We have spoken before when I’ve been admiring this tree, so I wasn’t entirely surprised. However, tree hating always surprises me somewhat in spite of myself.
I am privately amazed that this woman leads a life in which she sees this tree only as a source of rubbish that lands on the road, which she would prefer swept clean. This saddened me so much that after I filled my first sack with bark, I collected up all the leaves from the gutter in my second sack and took them home to be appreciated by my chickens. I am not sure if I was trying to spare her the agitation she clearly feels, or trying to spare the tree her anger, though the tree is indifferent. It does concern me that when people hate trees, those trees can be endangered, since even when there are people dedicated to tree preservation, so many are cut down.
I managed not to mention that my favourite local tree has been reduced to this:
Despite the council agreeing to ensure the tree was not chipped once it was felled, only intervention from an alert and interventionist neighbour from a few blocks away stopped it being shredded for mulch. The neighbour was kind enough to leave a note in our letterbox explaining what she had done to try to preserve it, even reduced as it now is, to being wood. Tree loving: now that, I can understand.