Yesterday I witnessed ComEd recklessly chopping my beautiful trees in half and carelessly trimming others. Junie B. and I ran out to stop them. Of course they should clear the lines, but this was far and beyond the call of duty. STOP!!!! I screamed. They didn’t care. They didn’t care they were harming to the point of destruction 3 healthy, beautiful hackberries. It didn’t matter to them that the Elm is a dying tree, and we have some of the only ones left in this city. They chopped one in half. The other they trimmed unnecessarily. The Elm should only be trimmed in the winter so it doesn’t get Dutch Elm disease. I told him, the man in the boom. I said, “Don’t touch my Elm”. Holding back tears I begged them over the scream of his saw to stop trimming my 400 year old Oak that was just professionally trimmed early last spring.
Instead of being heeded and respected, I was disregarded and ignored. The imposing boom was well over our property line. We felt violated as we surveyed the destruction. For the first time in my life, I cried over trees. I cried for the soft, strong cover they provide. These trees muffle city noises, guard my children and make them less visible to peering eyes of strangers, keep us cool in the hot summer months, & give us more clean air than we can even imagine.
Talk to my boss he said. The damage was already done. We were planning on clearing some of this away ourselves (mainly the invasive white mulberry) and planting Paw Paws. Now we’re afraid that if we plant Paw Paws the city will come back and chop them in half. It’s my hill! It’s my yard! It’s my forest! It’s what I thought was the my little corner of earth that I could guard and protect. We feel violated, for our damaged trees, for our destroyed trees and for our home.
That was yesterday. Today we’re trying to move on and make new plans. We’ll plant viburnums instead of trees. This way if they come back in a few years and chop them in half, the viburnums won’t be harmed. We’ll pick up the pieces of what they left. We have a lot of work to do now clearing out half grown trees. Today we saw our first Monarch butterfly in the flower garden. It was like a salve to our wounded hearts. Our Sympohtrichum novae-angliae (New England Aster) was providing it with sweet nectar. Though we were robbed, all is not lost.