Old Willow Oak

Thank You And Good Night, Oak Tree

We had to cut down our beautiful 75-year-old willow oak.

Old Willow Oak

Our tree was hit by lightening a decade ago and with cables and amazing tree aborists and money, we kept it happy enough for our children to swing and rest and hide and love this tree for many years.

Swing on tree

Scott and the kids swing

E pushing N on the swing

N dancing by the tree

E pushing N older

E older on swing

But the lightening’s damage was irreversible. We knew this, but the cost of keeping the tree alive for those years was worth it until it wasn’t enough. The trunk has rotted out making the tree unsafe for us and our neighbors.

We cried as the branches fell. My son turned to my husband and said: We can’t cut down the tree. I love it too much.

The cutting begins

The cutting keeps going


The tree company left a few branches up so my children could swing one last time.

The last evening of the oak

Thank you and good night, oak tree.

Alex Iwashyna

Alex Iwashyna went from a B.A. in philosophy to an M.D. to a SAHM, poet and writer by 30. She spends most of her writing time on LateEnough.com, a humor blog (except when it's serious) about her husband fighting zombies, awkward attempts at friendship, and dancing like everyone is watching. She also has a soft spot for culture, politics, and rude Southern people who offend her Yankee sensibilities. She parents 2 elementary-aged children, 1 foster baby, 3 cats, and 1 puppy, who are all Southern but not rude. Yet.

16 thoughts to “Thank You And Good Night, Oak Tree”

  1. I’m so sorry! Trees are magestic.

    Read the book, A Tree named Steve. Beautiful book about how wonderful a tree is, even when it falls. Or read Bess’ Tree – which I cannot find on amazon – but describes a tree funeral.

    When I was five or so, we lost our elm to elm rot. But the stump became a great seat and then that spot became my garden.

  2. UGH. Heartbreaking. We had a gorgeous old live oak tree right next door that used to bring me joy on a daily basis. When the road construction started, and they began to widen the highway we live on, they cut down that old tree without a second thought. I cried for DAYS. I hope for healing for your family. Maybe you could plant a tree together, in memory of the tree you lost. ♥

    1. Abby, I had this experience, too– a magnolia tree I used to climb and hide out in all the time as a kid, in a neighbor’s yard, and one day I walked outside and it was missing all its limbs. I just about fell apart. The next day, it was gone. It’s so heart-wrenching. Alex, I feel your pain for that beautiful tree you guys lost!

  3. Was your arborist named Brian? The reason I ask is we’ve had some pretty major damage in the past and when he came to our door to tell us he couldn’t save a tree, he looked like he was going to cry. We’ve used him ever since.

  4. This made me teary. It is a tragedy and a loss when we have to cut down trees; especially the ones that grew, and lived and loved. This reminds me of the book The Giving Tree…which I can never get through without some tears. So sorry.

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