Back to top

Not Your Usual Tree

April 30, 2018

Unfortunately this tree no longer exists. Unlike the many stories of great trees, this one is of the lowly, scrubby box elder.

When I was growing up on the family farm in Plainfield, there grew an unusually large box elder right outside my bedroom window. This tree was a prodigious size for a box elder. It stood 45 or 50 feet and had an unusual curve in its trunk. About 25 feet off the ground, an octopus-looking mass of several branches spread in all directions for tens of feet.

In 1974, a tornado tore half of the tree's crown off. Undaunted, it simply regenerated itself. Over the years, kittens were born in that big mass of branches and a wood duck once hatched her brood there. In 1990 the great Plainfield tornado did it in, and the life of a strange, familiar, and important tree came to an end.  

Find more stories in: