I had mixed feeling about these two trees. On one hand, they are very large and leafy. I like big trees. But these trees were not really... indigenous to this area. According to most tree guides, these trees aren't seen north of the Carolinas (other sycamores are, but not this variety). I am sure whomever planted them in our neighborhood must have got them in a sale or something. The problem with these trees are they bloom like crazy until about late July, and suddenly they turn brown, shed all their giant leaves, and lose strips of thin bark like the bark fairy has blessed our yards. By fall they are already bald and have a trunk that I would describe as a "tree eczema." They also leave these compact balls of seeds in our yard. They sprout saplings like crazy in the spring, and all die when the summer hits, leaving thin whips all over my yard.
I don't know how they have lived this long.
The one over our deck technically belonged to the neighbor, because the trunk was mostly on their side of the fence. Now, a few years ago, I noticed the tree was leaning a lot into our yard. I guess it liked pagan neighbors. But the angle it leaned made me wonder, after each storm, whether I would have a tree lying in my yard like a slumbering frat boy after an all-night kegger. Before I replaced my deck, I kind of hoped it would take the deck with it when it fell, but the tree never fell. I was glad it didn't fall when I got the new deck. Hell, it survived hurricane Isabel. Leaning Sycamore of Pisa.
The neighbor mentioned to us, maybe around 2002 or so, that she was considering cutting it down before it fell. And I checked their yard for tell-tale signs of falling tree syndrome by watching for a rising bulge around the tree. I never saw one.
And now probably never will. Because she had it cut down today. Wow. Talk about a dramatic change. That tree shaded a good 30-40% of my back yard. It was responsible for some landscape decisions of the "what the fuck will grow in this kind of shade??" variety. Now I will have more flexibility. Luckily, this was not a tree that shaded our house, so there will be no additional cooling costs to my house.
Still, being pagan in nature, I wished I could have said goodbye.
AND THAT HER LANDSCAPERS WOULD HAVE CLEANED UP ALL THE BRANCHES LEFT ON OUR SIDE OF THE FENCE!