To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2)
Our campus is home to many beautiful specimen trees including poplars, oaks, plane trees, and other species. A 1906 site plan of the campus shows the magnificent tulip poplar at the Chestnut Hill Avenue entrance. It was large enough at the time to be located on the plan, so it is likely around one hundred fifty years old or perhaps more. Other large trees on that site plan didn’t survive. Over the years we have had to remove a number of trees that are dying and pose a danger.
There are three trees that line the drive way going toward Chestnut Hill Avenue and the center one is clearly in bad shape. It has begun to shed branches, and the property committee has recommended removing it before winter ice and snow bring it down for us. Work will begin shortly. While we need to remove trees that are no longer viable, we also need to replace them. Once we’ve identified appropriate species, we will replant at the right time – which may be next spring or fall.
As our own PHS notes on their website there are many good reasons to plant trees. They lower the temperature. They attract visitors to our campus and encourage outdoor activities, They absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. They are one of the many miracles of nature. But perhaps the best reason is that they connect us to the rhythms of nature. As the preacher said, “there is a time to every purpose under heaven.”