Upon purchasing the house next door for our garage, we inherited a mature maple tree. We began referring to the tree as Ferngully, a magical gigantic tree, that was featured in the 1992 film FernGully: The Last Rainforest. There were many trees of this age and type in our neighborhood. Some of these have been removed, planted unwisely under power lines. All are near the end of their life span.

We were thrilled to have this magnificent tree, since our lot had been cleared in back to terrace the slope and add on to the house. We had no large shade trees there. Under FG was a cooling spot for a seating area. But a bonus red maple from the National Arbor Society was planted just in front and named Ferngully 2, just in case something happened to FG 1. There was a seed of doubt about FG’s health. Note FG2 at about four feet high in front of FG.

Time races by and FG begins to look sad, is that a dying limb on the far right?

Finally a tree doctor was called in. FG would have to come down, he was rotting from within. All leaves had fallen by August , not a good sign.

Lichen is growing on the trunk and FG looks very sad, indeed. That bronze fennel in flower looks good, though.

On September 11, 2003 FG is dismantled. FG 2 becomes FG Replacement. Dogwoods and a sourwood joined FGR to provide shade for the plantings in this area, but many are lost. Between the trouncing from the tree crew and the baking of the now full sun, only the toughest plants could survive.

The main trunk was left standing like a sentinel.

FG is decaying rapidly providing woodpeckers with a handy pantry of insects.

Soon he will become compost to feed his replacement, long may he live.

FG 1 and FGR together for now.


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12 Responses to Ferngully

  1. chickenpoet says:

    Deserving homage to FG1. It is nice he will still have a purpose after he is no longer there. This world would be a better place if all flora and fauna received respect tantamount to Ferngully.

  2. Frances says:

    chickenpoet…we hold FG dear as he becomes one with the soil.

  3. brokenbeat says:

    a similar story is unfolding here at casa brokenbeat. i fear, yet am expecting, the death of our oldest apple tree. the woodpecker holes make a honeycomb of the trunk and main leader. lichen like that shown in Fernfully’s latter days is spreading like a showy green frost. it still has years to grow, made evident by the mass rising of suckers, but it will fall. dread looms. however, the old tree’s younger sibling, having sensed it’s double’s demise, has allowed a root system to attach itself to a low-growing sucker. i have potted the suckerling and am attending to its health. its future is bright as the old tree’s is ending.

  4. Frances says:

    brokenbeat…how sad for the apple tree, but there is always hope. Very many FG seedlings have been taken by Michael and Gregory to be planted in their gardens. Be aware that a dying tree is a danger to any structure nearby when the wind blows. Appropriate action needs to be pondered.

  5. Pam/Digging says:

    Pam @ Digging says:

    I like that you left Ferngully’s snag as a haven for wildlife. An old, broken tree gives a sense of history to a garden, doesn’t it?

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