A Mighty Oak Falls.


A Mighty Oak Falls.
A Mighty Oak Falls-AM
A Mighty Oak Falls-AM
A Mighty Oak Falls.

A Mighty Oak Falls-Dusk
A Mighty Oak Falls-Dusk

Today, the city came to cut down and remove a mighty Valley Oak that stood near the corner of Columbus and Hamlin. It is one of perhaps a dozen Quercus Iobata which grace and shade this area of Van Nuys.

The tree, which may have been over 75 years old, was dead. Its massive trunk and strong limbs were carrying a crown of dried and discolored leaves. It was a corpse, a beautiful corpse, but it had to be removed to protect the safety: of the drivers who speed by here and the taggers on foot who regularly deface a nearby wall.

The arboreal guardians of our street provide shade, add beauty, and give dignity to a neighborhood that needs every natural gift it can afford. Most homeowners here are struggling to pay their mortgages, and hold onto their jobs. Is it not wonderful that our surviving Oaks might provide some philosophical comfort and natural reassurance to those who are trying to enhance their own longevity?

A few years ago, a tree just like the one that was cut down today, stood just south of here along Columbus. A big truck parked under it, and the vehicle became stuck. The only way to free the truck, was to cut down the tree. So an enormous and gorgeous Oak, also seven decades old, was killed in a matter of hours.

Nobody ever bothered to replant a tree where the old one fell, and now the blazing sun beats down on a lawn that gulps water like a marathon runner.

We are in a mad race to get somewhere and then you see the patient and strong ones who stoically have seen it all.. and they pass on too.