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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Trees, a Better View or a Darker Day?

When I first moved to Washington State (our home just prior to Uruguay) I was amazed at the stature of the trees in Washington. Healthy and amazingly tall trees (Evergreens) were everywhere. The only other place I had seen such epic trees were the Redwood Groves located in Sequoia National Park, (Northern California). I mean, I've seen THE General Sherman Tree.

It holds the record for the "most massive living thing on Earth", over 2000 tons in weight and depending on the person doing the measurements anywhere from 272-311 feet tall (83.8-95 m) with bark some 3 feet thick. The general Sherman tree is, in the Congress Grove but it is not even the tallest of the Redwoods, other trees surpass it. Here's some photos to demonstrate what I mean!

When I found out a few months after moving here to Uruguay that the new owner of our sold house in Washington State had chopped down the giant pine tree on the corner of our ex- property, I was in mourning for a few days. The tree had been healthy, straight and majestically tall but obviously shaded the lot. I couldn't understand why anyone, would want to go around cutting mature trees down, that is until I MOVED HERE!

Eight felled trees later, on our land here in Uruguay, with two actually paid to be axed by our next door neighbor when I thought we had done our part by downing the six, I can't believe the change in my attitude. Yes, there are tall mature trees here including pines but mature and tall doesn't  necessarily mean pretty or safe. The pine trees here are scraggly and stupidly tall with no root system to support the height. The winds here are blasters, they come in gusts often with gale force.

A near gale force: is 32-38 mph. Whole trees in motion, resistense is felt while walking against the wind.
A gale force is: 39-46 mph wind. Twigs break off of trees, wind impedes walking.
A strong gale force is: 47-54 mph. Slight structural damage to chimneys and slate roofs. See our blog of  Feb.22, 2010 
I am aware that stands of trees actually help keep themselves up and standing when Nature pounds, still I am of the opinion that these pines are the wrong type to have been planted as a group in the first place.  In Carmel, California there are beautiful twisted, wind sculpted trees but they're not as tall!

You probably, have your own thoughts on cutting trees down, (yea or nay) but irregardless, these next few photos are of an all too familiar sight here in Uruguay.

This time my other next door neighbor had a tree cut down.
My attitude this time? Hey thanks, it improved my view!

 Is it my imagination? Or is the world a little gloomier today?


Anonymous said...

It's sad to see how people chop off trees without any knowledge and/or respect about local environment. "Stupidly tall"? The word"stupid" only aplplies to humans. "No root system"?! Pinus Pinaster Atlantica are perfectly fit for these sandy and windy shores!!! And by the way, the way lots of them bend is perfectly natural, nothing's wrong. Last thing, you know why they suffer and acasionally fall down with heavys torms? Because they protect each other while there're a bunch of them gathered together. The problem begins when ignoant people chop them off!!! Thank you for destroying what once was my childhood landscape!! Thank the lord there's people who travel miles and miles just to help tore our environment down!!

Denise said...

I allowed this seemly negative comment because I agree with it in principal. If you had noticed the Title contained the words ...A better view or a DARKER DAY in it. The ending sentence also showed regret by my saying "is it my imagination or is the world a little gloomier today?" The tree I showed being cut down was not by me. My neighbor had the tree cut down on his property. He is not some expat you can so easily blame but he and his family were born and raised here in Uruguay. If you were also so closely reading you would have noticed I acknowledged that Stands of trees hold themselves up against pounding nature. Did you also so carefully read that I allowed 2 trees to be felled only because my other neighbor paid for them? I had said NO to paying for them myself to be cut but my URUGUAY neighbor wanted them to be done because HE FELT his house was threatened. How many of your neighbors would be willing to spend money on YOUR property unless THEY felt so moved! I also mentioned that I felt the TWISTED wind swept trees of Carmel Calif are beautiful! The trees we cut down were not twisted but were LEANING and my Uruguay neighbors told us that they would damage my house in the next wind storm if left them standing! I was bad in using the word STUPID no the trees are not stupid. The trees I cut were not in a group but were alone in various places on my property. One was leaning ACROSS the existing driveway and people would swerve around it, driving up the lawn instead of using the paved driveway. If these trees were once part of a large grove then they were ALL cut down by YOUR FELLOW COUNTRY MEN before I ever arrived! So yes, it is sad how so many ignorant people who know nothing of ecology left me faced with sadness in having to remove some dangerous trees. The last wind storm left my neighbors uneasy hence the final decisions by your fellow Paisanos. I admit, Trees are not stupid! I hereby apologize to all trees for that remark! I tried to look at a positive in gaining a literal view in an uncontrollable situation with my neighbors cutting of his tree. Other than that I did show regret at the whole subject of felling trees. It is sometimes easier to blame foreigners as causing All the trouble and then putting on blinders when it comes to admitting that sometimes hard decisions are often shared by Native and expat. Hey, this winter don't burn any wood in your fireplace, you do know that a tree gave up it's life for that privilege? Reality check, Please! TRANQUILO, POR FAVOR!

Anonymous said...

By no means I intended to offend or sound agressive. Pleeeeeease don't take it that way, it wasn't my intention at all. I excuse myself a thousand times if it sounded that way!! As a matter of fact, I've ENJOYED your blog for quite a while; it sure was not what you had in mind when you began posting, but a "local" like me can find your blog enriching as entertaining. Frustration, sadness, a lot of sensations come to me when I see how we people trample our habitat, even when we clearly don't mena to do it! An important sidenote: I just saw with irony that even people that come from far away ( among other reasons pleasesd with local natural environment ) can't avoid being part of this process that's "cleaning" up what used to be forested areas. No way was this a "local versus foreigners" kind of a comment!!!! No way!! The "you" wasn't directed to you, your next door neighbour or anyone in particular. As a matter of fact, was a gross error on my part, a bad way to express myself: I should have said "we", "we people". Enough. I've irritated you and that wasn't my intention at all. Once again, I really enjoy your blog. And since we're going to be neighbours and somehow share our piede of sky over Marindia, I don't want to bring any disgust to your days. As a matter of fact, you can count on this "tree-enthusiastic" ( hehehe ) in whatever you need. Once again, my sincere appologies for all this misunderstanding.

Denise said...

Thank you, sincerely from the bottom of my heart for your sweet and nicely put apology/comment. Wally and I truly appreciate Uruguay and we love our beautiful neighborhood here in Marindia. You will love the close knit,friendly atmosphere in this area.
We welcome you and yours in sharing the future together. Thanks again for taking the time to "bury the hatchet" hahaha and clearing up this misunderstanding.