When one thinks of Wesleyan’s official blogs not much comes to mind. Mainly there’s Roth’s blog, where he’ll bestow upon us some morsels of wisdom whenever something important happens on Campus or in the greater world.
There is one blog however that surpasses even Roth on Wesleyan, it’s a place where we’re reminded of the ethereal nature of life itself. One where we are confronted with the passing of old friends, but also the renewal of life from their soil.
Wesleyan’s Tree Removal Blog is a surprisingly well-maintained blog that logs, as one might imagine, the trees that we have had to say goodbye to around campus. Each post comes complete with a photograph of the tree, the location of the tree, and a synopsis of the issue the tree is/was facing.
Reading through the blog is a fairly depressing journey. In a post you could easily scroll past without second notice from November 2017, the tree outside 163 High St. is given the following verdict, “This tree has been in decline for some time, and lost another leader in the storm. All signs indicate the tree has deteriorated beyond saving.” I reached out to this tree for an interview, but it appeared that I was already too late.
Another post retells the loss of an elm outside 330 High Street to the fatal Dutch Elm Disease, “Unfortunately we have lost another Elm to what appears to be Dutch Elm Disease. This is a very large tree, with very large limbs. This tree has to be removed.” The words of the author, Rob Borman tread the fine line between detached and devastated. In this line of work one must understand that emotional bonds are dangerous. The life of these trees are often unpredictable and if you allow yourself to get too close to any one tree you run the risk of hurting yourself once you arrive at their inevitable end.
The blog isn’t just an obituary of Wesleyan’s trees however. In a post from October 2016 Borman exclaims, “PLANTED!!!!”, regarding a young tree planted on Foss Hill after one of the largest oaks on campus, and former resident of Foss Hill, was struck by lightning on the catastrophic August 11th storm. The next post on the site recounts a history of the almost 200 trees and shrubs planted since 2014 on Campus with a well-annotated map to go with it.
Don’t live in the dark. Keep yourself updated on the Wesleyan tree happenings.