A free tree.


The above photo I took while wandering around my Southern Highlands, which is well known for its variety of trees, both native evergreens and the deciduous.  This tree seems to have developed a mind of its own very early on it its life on a street that the local Shire decided to enhance by planting trees. Soon after its planting, the young sapling threw all caution to the wind with an admirable courage to remain free and unrestrained. As the picture shows, it has usurped its cast-iron restraining frame and is in the actual process of eating it. The middle part of the frame is being ingested by the tree and to make it easier has split in two parts, giving both sides time and space to slowly dissolve this steel frame hoping it won’t be noticed by the Shire’s officers often doing the rounds checking on the trees and adjust, straighten or fix the frames or steel enclosures in case trees become unruly, or escape their enclosures. 

It’s a known fact that for many, at least in the past, trees were, or at least can be, a threat. I grew up in a suburb where the Neighbourhood always checked on the height of trees and anything above roof-gutter height would be, without warning get cut down. Those suburban tree watchers always held a fear of bush fires. And in the early fifties, trees were actually shunned in many suburbs because of fear of fires. People put in rockeries because rocks don’t burn easily, neither do petunias or lawns. Lawns were safe and cement patios and concrete drive-ways really flourished in suburbia were I grew up in.

Our neighbour used to spend entire week-ends on his knees prying out unwanted bits of grass that did not conform to the ideal lawn.  I thought first he was praying and hoping for rain because apart from fear of bush-fires there were also long periods of droughts. It is odd, that now that am getting older those memories cling so assiduously and perniciously. Never mind, right now this is my best part of living yet, and most of all am busy creating lovely pleasurable memories. It is just that the past is also giving me so much to reflect upon, and reflecting during Covid and Lock Downs is a luxury we better get used to. It is the perfect way of whiling time, as is walking around admiring the free spirits of trees.

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12 Responses to “A free tree.”

  1. catterel Says:

    ee cummings wrote of the “greenly leaping spirit of trees” – you have a wonderful example there! Love it!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. doesitevenmatter3 Says:

    Such a wonderful write, Gerard!
    YAY for free spirited trees who adapt, grow, endure, strive, thrive and continue to provide beauty! We should be more like them! 🙂
    And we must all keep creating lovely pleasurable memories! 🙂 And keep taking the time to walk around and commune with nature! 🙂
    (((HUGS))) 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Curt Mekemson Says:

    The people who were so afraid of fires might try living in the middle of a forest like Peggy and I do, Gerard. Then they would have something to worry about. I love our trees, however, and simply work to make our house as safe as I can. Then there is all of the environmental good that trees do… Good post. –Curt

    Liked by 1 person

  4. shoreacres Says:

    I had to stop and think about cutting trees to reduce fire danger. Here, it’s shrubs, grasses, and the piles of detritus they create that are more worrisome. Of course, it does depend on the species. Our cedar trees (Ashe juniper) can be a hazard, and anyone who has them on their property makes sure to keep them away from their homes or outbuildings.

    Your tree clearly has a mind of its own. At this point, I think it might be safe from meddlers, since trying to disentangle it from that frame would do some damage. There’s another lesson there: if you’re going to try to escape confinement of any sort, be sneaky about it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, While grass fires can be just as dangerous as forest fires in Australia it is the eucalypt tree with its very flammable oil that makes trees explode.

      The indigenous of Australia had a culture of back burning that only now is being respected for the successes in preventing uncontrollable fires.

      The tree in question is now the boss over it’s steel enclosure and broke free. I wonder if this steel will finally end up dangling high above the road as a kind of trophy?

      Liked by 1 person

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