Cutting back

We’ve lived in our home for over 20 years and have seen many changes in nature in our yard.  Like this old gum tree tree, once lush and green and a haven for native bird life. We see it from our decking and I’ve written about it before in Home Among the Gum Trees.  It once stood tall and proud but today, after years of disease and pest infestation, it’s lush beauty has long disappeared.


Still, it’s strangely beautiful.  Even without leaves the dark branches look eerily stunning against a cloudy canvas sky.

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Just two nights ago the sky behind it was ablaze with color, and the tree contrasted against a beautiful winter sunset.

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Every morning I wake to the sound of birds.  Cockatoos, King parrots, Galahs, Rainbow Lorikeets, all make their home in the tree. And they often visit us.

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Today, on a gray Tuesday, its stark limbs were trimmed.

I spoke to the guy who was harnessed to the tree and to his partner on the ground.  I asked how much of the tree they were cutting.  He said, just enough to make it safe.  I voiced my sadness for the birds.  I think my words were “I feel sad for the birds that are losing their home”.


He said to me there were many holes in the ends of the branches.  Open for the birds to return to shelter and protect their young.

Today its top was lopped.  Its scraggly branches were cut off.  I watched from our decking as it was refined and I have to admit by the time the job was finished the tree looked neat.  Like it had been preened.  Ready for new visitors.

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I have no doubt they’ll return.

So now this is my view. It’s half what it used to be.

It’s down but not out. And it reminds me that everything in life has a purpose, even a half cut down tree that still harbors a home for bird-life.

May we all be healthy and strong, not be afraid to stand out in the open just like this old gum tree that’s had to struggle for survival all these years but still endures.

Sometimes we have to scale back to be healthy and strong.

I wish you all a happy week ahead as we continue the journey.

storms and trees


68 thoughts on “Cutting back

  1. Feeling bad at the end by watching the half cut down tree. But tree branches are really stunning in the background of wispy clouds.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful post again. Lovely pictures and the colors of the sky are just amazing. The only thing I felt sad was the birds losing their homes. Thanks for sharing my dear.


  3. We used to have alone avocado tree here. All that remains now is about a yard long main trunk. Every rainy season, it absorbs so much rain water and that is quite bad for the roots. It died on us a few years ago.

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  4. Those first tree photos of the tree were lovely Miriam. It is truly magnificent. I always fall inlove with nature every time I see the pictures that you post.
    I didn’t realize how big the tree was until I saw the guy who was harnessed to it. I feel kind of sad to see the tree got trimmed. It’s like its glory being taken away from it…but like you said, it was needed. I do hope the birds would still find it a comfortable home to live in. Thanks for sharing Miriam. The pictures are totally worth a thousand words! ☺

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, you’re so kind Nina and yes, it was kind of sad to see the tree trimmed, but needed. I’ve already seen a few birds in the tree tonight so hopefully they’ll still find a nice refuge there!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I heard on RN today that we actually need more storms on our coasts as it brings sand onto our beaches. The silver lining of the same cloud that produces more shelter holes for birds in your tree.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The first two shots are gorgeous, Miriam. I hate it when they trim or cut trees. I remember feeling dejected whenever I’ve seen trees getting cut. I guess it is an absolute necessity at times. I can imagine the sadness you must feel. Who knows, by next summer the tree will bounce back with green leaves and chirping birds. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, I’m not sure about the leaves but the birds are already back in the tree. I went outside this morning and a family of galahs were perched right up the top. 🙂

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  7. It does look very different, but not really worse. And I’m glad that the birds can still use it for their homes, while at the same time it’s not a safety issue for anyone either. But what I really liked is the way you used the tree as an analogy for life: everything does have a purpose, even when it’s form is changed dramatically. Great post, Miriam!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I read this at the perfect time. Thank you, Miriam. I visited Australia & remember gum trees and cockadoos! (spelling?) Anyway, your message touched me and sending lots of blessings to you, to the birds and your gum tree. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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