The Paper Birch and Apple tree are one of the reasons I fell in love with our farm. The birch stands at the edge of the driveway, her branches reaching out in a big hug. And the apple tree with the hole in the trunk big enough for the three hens to take shelter in.
Both trees are old. The apple tree lost a major limb this summer when the leaves were the heaviest I’ve ever seen them. And in every windstorm, the birch drops branches, usually small ones.
The snow this weekend was heavy enough to break one of the birch’s big outstretched arms. I wasn’t really surprised it came down. This summer a mushroom the size of a dinner plate began growing where the branch joins the trunk of the tree. Then a few more smaller ones sprouted along the same branch.
Even this summer when the other trees were loaded down with leaves, there were few on the birch and they began dropping in late summer. Paper birches don’t have long lifespans and I believe this tree is in the process of dying. Which means it could still be around for a long time. Trees die slowly from old age.
I will miss this tree when she’s gone. So I why I take special care to appreciate her now while she’s still here.