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Our beautiful, very large, 160 some year old black oak is struggling mightily, and at the moment so am I.  This morning around 9am, as I was cleaning up after breakfast, I heard the sickening crack and subsequent crash of one of her grand limbs just outside our front windows.  I have known she has not been doing as well this past year, and when my tree guy came to do an extensive airation, feeding and composting treatment he warned me the scales had come back with a vengence.  I then spent a month trying to find an outfit that did the horticultural spraying(the last guy moved away) rather than the systemic chemical treatment(my property is as natural as it gets, no pesticide spraying), and when I found an outfit the tree had started to leaf so now we have to wait until the leaves are more mature.  

Soooo, I sit outside in the rain this morning, while my tree guy explains how rotted the branch was due to an old wound, the tree being under seige and that of course the tree is old and up until we moved in 10 years ago the tree had not been taken care of.  I ask if my tree, for all intensive purposes, is dead, he says we really wont know without doing some drilling or sonic detection to see how the other limbs' structures are doing.  Discussion ends with my tree guy feeling the oil spraying is not strong enough for this infestation and the systemic chemical treatment is needed, the tree cant handle this on its own.  

Chemical treatment, all too familiar words for me, as I come closer to the 5 year saddiversary of my husband's passing due to treatment complications and Lymphoma.  Yes, much projection going on, intellectually I am well aware of that, but knowing doesnt stop the flow of tears.  My husband loved that tree, as do I; it is very integral to the house, living right in front of it with the deck being built with an indentation, surrounding half the trunk.  I sit up there at night, feeling my husband's spirit all around that tree, in the leaves, the swaying branches, the nesting birds and our resident, michevious squirrel.  Through the years a lot of resources for her have been expended, and for a time she flourished again, but this morning my year long concern has taken a 6 second crash into some painful reality.

I believe we never really stop the acceptance process after loss, rather it is more like the layering of the earth's sediments, the colors and features change, but the process never ends.  

I am waiting to hear back from my tree guy who is calling the pest control tree guy to give me the opinion I already know, that I will have to do the chemical treatment so the tree has a better chance to get rid of more of the scales that the spraying wont do - courage zmom, courage.

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