Below is a poignant account of the memories and uncertain future of the ash tree sent in by Steve Walker, entitled ‘Ashes to Ashes’. Also pictured is an image of the ash trees around Steve’s house.
Beautiful ash trees surround and overhang our house. They give us a gentle shade from the sun during summer and protection from the wind in winter. Tree creepers, squirrels and woodpeckers use these vertical highways, bats weave between the branches catching flying insects. Occasionally through our roof lights we see birds silhouetted in the high branches. Once we watched three baby owls being fed by their mother on a branch, they stayed in the branches of the tree for a few days.
Now one of the trees is nearly dead and we fear that it might fall on our home. Others show signs of disease. We shall have to act soon to protect ourselves. When the trees are gone the habitat will change, woodland plants that now grow underneath won’t get their dappled ash sun hat. However for a while the ash shall linger in our thoughts as we warm ourselves on their burning logs and the ashes will nourish whatever to take their place. We will nurture rebellious seedlings.