The black willow in my front yard has been asleep for several months and is just awakening with a grand display of leaves - I suppose the old fellow has been doing this for the past 100 or so years and doesn't seem to be tiring or even slowing down.
Last fall, I wrote about trees. For those of you who responded with your own favorite and noteworthy woody friends, this is a belated follow-up.Emily Flowers said that my mention of her late husband Doctor Flowers, University of Utah botanist, "brought back memories more real than photographs." She also remembers "going to see some of the trees . . . mentioned and shall make a tour to see some of them again."
Looking out my window brought this to mind. There is nothing that compares with the magic of spring bloom. This annual renewal of life gives one hope based on a reliance that never fails.
Mrs. Copier took the time to visit the trees mentioned in the article and we talked a couple of times about the trees that she had difficulty locating - she, too, mentioned her favorites as though speaking about old friends.
Mr. and Mrs. O.N. Anderson of St. George said that my review of historic trees "missed some very important ones . . . and . . . here they are: the tree in the yard of Brigham Young's summer home in St. George. It stood there when the pioneers came - or was planted by them." Mr. and Mrs. Anderson also mentioned "the big willow tree on the canal at Brookside Place and Fifth North in Logan - as well as the huge tree you see from the inside window at the dental office of Dr. Eyre at 200 block East - Fifth North in Logan - and what about the huge cedar tree or juniper tree in Logan Canyon?"
I have a few more favorites that are near my home in Bull River, Utah County.
The first is a very black willow. It is 25 feet around its girth. I estimate its height at 65 feet and its crown diameter at 80 feet. I consider this fellow to be the granddad of trees that I know. He stands majestically at the edge of the lawn on the brow of a hill and willingly hefts the neighborhood children who scramble and scream amongst his outstretched arms.
The second tree is also one of the many common gambol oaks that are native to Utah and are often called scrub oak and seen in our foothills. This tree, which reminds me of a stripling youth, is anything but common - it is strong, lean and much bigger than the norm. I have no idea how old it is but because it is unbroken I regard it to be in its prime. It is asleep right now and is one of the late risers in my yard - reminds me of my 18-year-old son, Matthew. The oak is an exceptional specimen when asleep and when awake and clothed. It he has inner wisdom, strength of emotion and presence - also like my son Matthew.
The Linton gambol oak is 5 feet 2 inches around the girth. He is about 50 feet tall and has a crown of about 40 feet. I believe this is a record. If there is another of this kind around that is equal or larger I would love to know about it.
As my leafy friends awaken from their winter sleep, I can't help but think how important they are to me - and to you. Many of the environments of the world are slowly being destroyed by the methodical elimination of trees. Unchecked, many ecologists and scientists are saying that their continued destruction will lead us into the downward spiral of a dying world.
Trees are one of the loves of my life and now as I grow older and less self-conscious, I find myself standing next to these gentle companions, patting their backs and saying a few tender words of appreciation for the life they continue to give to me - and to you.
-Joseph Linton is an architect in Highland, Utah County. He welcomes other viewpoints.