One of the reasons we fell in love with our home is because four stately, matching sycamore trees towered over its front yard. The hundred year old sentinels provided much-needed shade during the hot Texas summers and covered every yard on the street with falling leaves each autumn. They were beautiful.
Sadly, two of them died and had to be removed while we were traveling, and a third one will soon suffer the same fate.
They had a disease, but the experts can’t decide if the disease came first or if they were weakened by something else that made them susceptible to the disease. Perhaps they were weakened by the drought that Texas suffered a few years ago. Or maybe they had just reached the end of their natural lifespans.
Neither can the arborists explain why three died while the fourth one is still healthy. Maybe it’s just the Ruth Bader Ginsberg of sycamores.
That one remaining sycamore looks a little lonely sitting by itself off on the western edge of our lawn. Luckily, our next door neighbors planted a pair of matching baby sycamores a few years ago. They won’t equal ours in height nor girth for fifty years or so, but it’s a good start.
We’ll miss the sense of strength and stability and beauty they provided all year long, and the cooling shade they gave us in the summer, but definitely won’t miss the reddened leaves they shed in autumn nor the sticky, yellow pollen they spewed every spring.
But the front yard and the neighborhood sure seem empty without them.