Time Passes By, But the Trees Hardly Notice

In From the Field by Forest Keeper4 Comments

Weeping Beech tree in Hyannis

Many folks know and appreciate this Historic tree on Main st Hyannis

Reading through some current “tree news” this morning I came across an article about the Weeping Beech tree that is hidden away, in a nice little courtyard behind some shops on Main st in Hyannis.  Many folks know this tree. I have taken many weekend walks with my children down Main street and this majestic creature has often been the destination.

Sitting under the  canopy of this awe inspiring tree, puts you in another world. Looking up into the twisting, gnarled branches, hanging down in a manner that almost invites you to climb, one can’t help but wonder how long   this tree has lived here. Some local stories associated with the tree place the tree as far back as 1776 ( though this is not documented and even somewhat contested). One things for sure, this tree has a great deal of history associated with it. Read the peace on the Cape Cod Life web page to get an idea of the lore surrounding this tree.

Reading about this old tree got me thinking , as trees will often do. How often we consider trees to have “history”? Even in our own personal memories how many of us have that special tree that we hold on to with fond nostalgia ?  The history of a tree, most often, is the history of events that happened around the tree, while the tree just sat there, happily planted in the soil. All of the people and happenings; the comings and goings; the scraped knees and the secret kisses: and the tree just grows, as trees will often do.

Trees are actually pretty laid back creatures if you think about it. They’re not in much of a hurry at all. Growing little by little and patiently changing with the seasons that march on year after year. Yet some how, so much of  our life’s experiences get wrapped up in the rings in the wood grain.

Many times after cutting the last piece of trunk on a tree removal job, I’ll stop and count the rings on the stump. We’ll sometimes discuss and think back to what might have been happening when the tree was planted. But then it’s back to work, because, unlike the trees, we’ve gotta get moving.

I’ve heard it said that the best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago; and the next best time is today. And just think of all the memories our children will have when they look back and pick the fruit.


  1. A thoughtful observation about trees… I am enjoying your new blog! Thanks for stopping by to comment on mine. Although I have perennial gardens and flowers, planting trees is what made me a gardener.

  2. Having moved about so much the last fifteen years or so, trees have been a source of frustration for this gardener, almost always having to leave them behind at one property or another.

    But trees are always what make me realize when I’ve lived in a region for a while. One becomes so accustomed to seeing them along the roadside and then one day, you look at them in surprise and realize that you remember when they were so much smaller.

    I always try to imagine what the oldest trees bore witness to.

  3. Author

    I know what you mean Greg. Believe it or not there are actually trees, from different times in my life that I still think about. I know, sounds kinda weird, as if they were old friends or something. But in a sense they were. There was the Beech tree that I used to climb up at college and do my studying in, and the old Maple that I used to climb with my best friend Sean, and of coarse the Apple seed that I planted as a 5 year old boy just before my family moved to a new state. I would like to visit all of these trees and see how they are doing, and if they are still there. I find that the trees help tie my memories to the people and events of my life.
    No surprise that I would grow up and become an Arborist.
    Or have I grown up yet?

  4. Trees are dependable. Lovers and spouses may come and go, jobs are won or lost, but the trees are always there. It’s almost a betrayal when a tree falls, leaving a bare patch in the sky, where you once used to have a leafy canopy.

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