On the face of it my larch is doing splendidly. The downy growth of last month is maturing fast and although still fresh-faced now has an increased look of adulthood. An aura of its first flush still remains but is swiftly outgrowing its innocence. However it seems that life has not always been so carefree and rosy for my new friend.
Even the most renown of botanic gardens nail labels to their specimens, it must therefore follow that it is considered harmless by The Wise Ones. Still it makes me cringe. The reason this particular nail was hammered into the blameless trunk is unclear but it pains me to see it there. It seems rather sad to reduce this wonderful tree to a mere notice board or somewhere to hang your fairy lights.
More severe and, in turn, distressing is the trauma towards the base of the tree. At some point in its life it was damaged, perhaps by the dreaded strimmer, perhaps a bunny had a nibble, perhaps a vehicle knocked into it when the driver was distracted by the bunny. A small wound can enlarge as the tree grows making it seem more catastrophic than it was initially. This large area stripped of bark exposing the wood below looks raw and vulnerable. Although not sightly the tree lives on, undaunted by its disfigurement, keeping secret the story of its ordeals. I think I love it all the more for its resilience.