Sponge Hardwood Trunk Rot/La Mort d’un Érable

Probably for 80-100 years it rose majestically, branching widely to shade several homes, the street and pedestrians. The orange stripe marked its fate this past fall, 2014. The leaves and small branches were pruned on high by people in a cherry picker. The tree was left strangely bare, the major branches denuded of all foliage and small branches. It could no longer filter nor shade nor be majestic. It stood as a silent sentinel for all passing by.
L’arbre a dû être malade pour que la ville intervienne. Cet érable énorme a vu plein de changements à Notre Dame de Grâce. L’arbre y était possiblement depuis la première guerre mondiale. Il a vu la transition de cheval à l’automobile. L’arbre vivait avant qu’on parle de pollution, de changement de climat. L’arbre a survécu le verglas de 1998. Mais, l’arbre n’a pas pu vivre avec l’infection qui a atteint son tronc, le cœur de son existence.
Because of its venerable age, we can quickly list some of what it has seen in its lifetime: two World Wars, the poverty of the Great Depression, 17 Canadian prime ministers, 23 Stanley Cups won by Montreal since 1927. It would have heard the noise of the pylons being hammered for the Décarie Expressway in the ‘60’s. It would have witnessed the bustle of Expo 67 and heard the radio broadcasts of the Montreal Expos. Located on Notre Dame de Grace and Marcil, thousands of children and parents would have walked past it to NDG school or St Augustine’s school each year. It was a signpost for those going to St Augustine of Canterbury parish on Marcil and Cote St Antoine, established in 1916. It knew of the Quiet Revolution and the Wars Measure Act. How many lovers strolled beneath its canopy, how many snowballs were thrown at its ample target? How many dogs of the neighbourhood stopped at its base?
Aujourd’hui, on est passé voir notre vieil ami. Maintenant aucune branche n’est présente. La ville nous a mis des affiches pour décrire la maladie responsable pour la fin de notre érable. Certes à Notre Dame de Grâce, nous en avons encore quelques érables énormes. Depuis le verglas, on en a beaucoup moins d’arbres centenaires. Ceux qui perdues sont témoin de notre histoire et un signal de l’importance de protéger la nature.
This tree is enormous…two adults cannot encircle its diameter. The picture illustrates the extent of the sponge hardwood trunk rot. This disease attacks the core of the tree. The maple (I believe it to be) had to be surgically amputated for the safety of people and neighbouring trees this January. The city has inserted informative plaques in the various crevices. This is one more reminder that life does not last forever. Specimens of such advanced age serve to remind us of our history and act as a bell, tolling to remind us to respect our natural environment, to respect all life, plant, animal and human. It will take 100 years to replace this tree….I won’t be here to see it. Hopefully our planet will!
If you can’t see the picture of my good friends, try clicking on the title! All comments welcomed!


3 thoughts on “Sponge Hardwood Trunk Rot/La Mort d’un Érable

    • launchings5

      It is sad, but it is also part of the cycle of life that things die. This tree lived a long life. When I lose one I love, I miss it for a very long time. Sadness eventually passes, if it is not fired by regret of what I could have done.

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