The Old Maple Tree


by Rich Moll


The tree in the front yard was dying, dropping branches on the driveway, narrowly missing the cars. The tree had to come down, but the first task was to remove the major limbs overhanging the driveway.  I began climbing trees as a boy, shortly after I could walk and run, so up I went, chainsaw in hand.  The motor started with a flip of the switch, and the limbs came tumbling down.

Years went by and the tree hung on to life.  A few green leaves appeared each spring from a lone limb.

Colorful tree fungi appeared up and down the trunk, woodpeckers started boring and a family of sparrows moved in to the holes; so we waited until they left before calling the arborist to cut it all down and grind out the stump, leaving a hole which we filled with sifted black soil from the backyard compost pile, which had been enriched by the leaves of the old maple tree. We showered the black soil with grass seed and watered and watered and rising in green sprigs, new life sprung where a tree had been.



Rich Moll is a local author and lifelong resident of Irondequoit.  A husband, father and grandfather he worked as a chemist for 40 years.  His hobbies include traveling, photography, reading, and mycology. Rich can be reached at