As is my luck, just a few months after moving in it was announced construction would begin on an industrial park behind the new house. Worse things could happen since the barren acreage was home to little else than mine tailings and stunted birch, but it was open land and I still prefer open land to warehouses and truck parking. In any case all the trees were gone within a few months.
I still miss the large white oak which sat directly behind our yard but over the intervening years new saplings and seedlings have come up to protect us from whatever eyesore progress put in our way. “Things will be fine” I told my neighbors as we trudged along through the bulldozing, blasting, dumping, uncertainty, and endless windblown dirt as the on again off again construction continued…. for eight years….
Earlier this month the final addition to our end of the park was completed, and the lights went on and the trucks moved in. The neighbors complained. The township was involved. Agreements were reached. I knew nothing. One evening I got the text that “they cut down all the trees” and that night when I got home it was quite the shock to find the industrial park had moved right in to our kitchen.
We have a new view now, the scene off the deck just isn’t quite as sorta suburbia as it used to be. The trees and scrub are gone and with the fence down we’re just a few steps away from barbed wire, chainlink, and tractor trailers.
The tree removal is part of what the industrial park has agreed to do in order to block the light and noise of the development. The trees came down, dirt is going in and new trees will be planted. I have faith that it will all work out but for now I miss the aspen and sumac and all the other surprises (and nuisances) which had shown up on their own. They, as well as milkweed and coneflowers and a bunch of other interesting things are now buried under about eight feet of fill.
Word is that over the next few weeks several 30ft Norway spruce will be lifted from another site via giant tree spade and trucked down to take up new homes between us and the lights. They’re not my favorite tree but beggars can’t be choosers and hopefully they’ll be planted far enough away that they don’t suck up 100% of the winter light which comes from that direction.
The quote I’m going with has been “you don’t want to see us and we don’t want to see you”, and I’m hoping that works out to be the case. I liked the wide open but maybe a nearby forest won’t be the worst thing, and in any case finally being done with all the uncertainty of what the future holds might be a relief after all these years. Wish me luck!