A Tree Bleeds

A Tree Bleeds (3)

The unintentional symbolism wasn’t lost on me. When I first saw it, I thought, “My God, my tree bleeds.” If it could bleed actual blood, yesterday would’ve been the day that would’ve happened. My Cherry Laurel, a tree of which I am quite fond, has a bad disease. It’s called Fire Blight. When I asked the nursery specialist how bad is it, he responded, “Put it this way: a tree having Fire Blight is like us having AIDS. It ain’t good.”

Yesterday was the attempt to save my very sick tree. It was advised that the only real chance the tree will have is if every single diseased limb and branch is removed and that they be cut back to at least six inches of healthy flesh. My ex came over and succeeded in removing all of the dead limbs and branches. I cringed when I saw the “bloody” bark. Of course I knew it was the coloring of the chain saw oil but it made me gasp nonetheless. Because I felt its sting. Being systematically dismembered limb by limb, after a lifetime of service –home to the hundreds of birds over the years, providing shade on hot summer days and enchantment on moonlit nights – had to hurt.

This tree has been a part of me for the last eleven years. My heart aches at its 50/50 survival prognosis. I don’t hold out much hope for it, after scrutinizing its bark yesterday. I can see that the disease has permeated its sturdy trunk…or at least half of it.

I fear that removing what we did yesterday isn’t going to be enough to save this big beauty. But at least I have to try.

We’ve put in a valiant effort, with Brian’s hard work in sawing off all the dead limbs and my help in yanking them down so they’d fall where he wanted them to.


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Will it be enough? Only time will tell. But today I’m feeling a bit melancholy. The thought of losing yet another tree pains me deeply.

I’m going to keep the faith though, and continue to do whatever I can to ensure that it recovers. Organic fertilizer is scheduled for this weekend…and tomorrow I’m going to summon the yard fairies and tree angels with a little sage and smudge ceremony. It certainly can’t hurt.


Have you ever experienced fire blight? If so, how did it turn out?