Last week, the giant ash that has lived across the street for the more than two decades we have lived here, the one whose branches create an almost-arch over our street and whose leaves I could see when I was laying on my bed, which filled my window, always the first to turn colors in the fall, was cut down. My neighbor Ruthie told me it was just a twig when they moved in 42 years ago.
It was infected with emerald ash borer, the name of a green beetle who is so very unhappy to be away from it’s native Asia or Russia and is taking it out on Chicago area ash trees. Those of us who happened to be around that morning – there were at least seven or eight of us – watched, our mouths in pout, as four strong men took their positions in and around the tree and two worked the chipper. It was loud and fast. Forty-two years for it to grow to it’s towering state. Gone two hours later.