The single sugar maple tree in my back yard — for some weeks clearly stressed — is a lost cause, says the tree guy, and is soon to be a pile of wood for autumn bonfires.

Acer S., the tree guy notes… Acer saccharum.

We have other maples… Red maples (Acer rubrum) and black (Acer nigrum). We have a massive ash tree (Fraxinus) and a picturesque stand of birches (Betula). We have cedar and spruce and hemlock trees (Juniperus, Picea, Tsuga) but only the single sugar maple. I’d planned to tap that tree to try my hand at backyard sugaring, but hadn’t gotten around to it, and in retrospect I’m awfully pleased I didn’t; I’m sure I’d worry it was me what killed that tree.

Maybe it was lonely.

I think I’ll replant another sugar maple when all is said and done. Not a single sugar maple, but two. Just in case.

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