Pining Away


Here’s our Aleppo pine in all her glory in September, 2011.  I loved the sound of the wind in the needles and the cool shade she provided.  It’s only been a week since we had her cut down, but I already miss the sound of the tree squirrels landing on the roof above my home office. The doves who nested there are bewildered.


Last fall, after Dana started deep watering by sinking pvc pipe into the ground at her base, we tried having the dead parts cut out by an arborist.  When we came home from vacation at the end of March, it was clear that this tree was beyond saving.  There’s still some green on the left side of this shot.

I’m guessing she was planted at the same time as our manufactured home, in 1989. The average lifespan of an Aleppo pine is 80-90 years, but up to 150. That’s without a long, deep drought and bark beetles.


We kept some slices of the trunk. They are astonishingly completely dry. No sap at all in them.


Post-pine view. We miss it a lot. We left a big stump to play with. We can always cut it, but we can’t get it back. We’d like to plant something shady and better suited to the climate in that part of the yard. Admittedly, I won’t miss having to clean sodden pine needles off the porch roof after a storm.


Maybe the first signs of trouble, back in October 2015, when I took a picture of our newly-completed terracing.

When I first heard that this is an Aleppo pine at the beginning of this century, I didn’t know where Aleppo was. I presumed it was from Italy.



One of the three babies Dana transplanted on April 5, 2010.


The Aleppo offspring are doing fine at the opposite end of the yard.  Note the deep watering pipes beneath them.


6 thoughts on “Pining Away

  1. oh, it’s always heart wrentching to lose a good old tree! Makes you feel sad.
    Thanks for giving us the run down on this. Question: do you know why the name Aleppo??


  2. Sorry to see your tree go. I consider myself an amateur arborist… I have several tree books and look up various trees that I’m curious about. I hate it when some trees are cut down, sometimes with seemingly no good reason. At least your Aleppo lived out its natural life 🙂


  3. Do you think it was a victim of the drought? It is heartbreaking to lose any tree, but especially a large one. When I lived at my sister’s in Acton, we had to have a huge, dying eucalyptus taken out, and it left such a hole…in more than just the view.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I think that bark beetles attack trees made vulnerable by drought. We’re hoping that keeping the young ones well watered will protect them! It’s so hard to lose a tree, and the microclimate that developed under its branches.


      1. I still miss the giant box elder that I sat in to read books until new people bought the farmland across from us and cut it down. I was about 13, but the loss of that tree and the whole hedgerow still gives me a heartache! Love that you are into trees!


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