RIP, 3 Trees

Somebody went berserk in our side yard last night and attacked 3 of the 5 trees we’ve been growing to shade the south side of the house. They were snapped in half—all in the same way in the same spot on their poor, young trunks.



The ones on the ends are/were birches that my dad raised. And the one in the middle is/was the hornbeam I searched high and low for last year.


I was able to order another hornbeam, though of course we’ll be starting all over in trying to convince the plant take on this new job. We’re trying to figure out how to make sure this destruction doesn’t happen again. And, well, there’s really no way to do so. We live in the city off a major street near the alley, and our side yard is an unusual, inviting spot for anyone looking to duck away from attention momentarily. One night the cops came ringing the doorbell just after midnight asking if they could look in our back yard because they’d seen someone come running out of this area; they suspected the kid had tossed something illegal over the fence separating the side yard and the back yard. So I guess we could fence it all in, but I’m resisting taking this route because I think it would change the nature of the property and the neighborhood. But what if the neighborhood has changed already? Of course, kids swipe my flowers all the time, and that irks a little, but it’s probably because mine is one of the few houses on the street with flowers. And there was the baluster-kicking. Sigh. We’re planning now to put up a security light, but it’s a trick to make sure it doesn’t bother our neighbor. It just makes me so sad that people can be so pointlessly mean. Most likely it was just a thoughtless strike from an inconsiderate person with too many problems to think about others. But oh, poor trees.

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5 Responses to RIP, 3 Trees

  1. Man, that sucks. Although I’d like to live within walking distance of SOMETHING, I guess there are some advantages to living somewhat out of the way.

    My instinct would be to not worry about it and hope that it doesn’t happen again. I guess that’s the optimist in me!

  2. n54th says:

    See, that’s where I am too. Thanks for the support!

  3. Marie says:

    I cannot understand why someone would do that. However, I would plant again, too.

  4. TomD.Arch says:

    Wow. I did some stupid stuff as a kid growing up in Chicago, but killing trees is amazingly lame.

    About that side yard – you don’t necessarily need to totally fence it off. You can bring in some elements that “discourage” folks from wandering in off the sidewalk. The idea is to add elements that create a visual and psychological boundary between the public sidewalk and the private side yard. These things won’t deter someone who is running from the cops, but they can give a psychological “push” that reduces the odds that folks will walk in, and potentially do stupid stuff. When a public zone bleeds seamlessly into another area, it’s very easy to walk in. When you have to cross a boundary, it becomes more “difficult”.

    Lights are a good component. A low hedge could help to establish that public/private boundary. Stepping things up a bit more, a low fence can establish the boundary very nicely. Something as low as 18″ can get the point across, but a 36″ high fence goes a long way to say “look, but don’t touch.”

  5. n54th says:

    Thanks for your comment, Tom. What you say about adding a psychological boundary makes a lot of sense. I’m going to add the idea to my list of possibilities.

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