Fortunately we planted three copper beeches for our three children when we moved here in 1970 . They were slender saplings then and even after forty years I can span their trunks easily with my arms. It will take another hundred years before they are as big as the ones we have lost. How insignificant our own lives are in comparison. More recently we have planted an oak tree and a white birch, both with special memories. Through time they will help to replace the trees lost in the large farm garden but it saddens me to think no more children will have the joy of collecting conkers from the horse chestnut tree as my children did, nor will they gather beech mast in the autumn.
Many of you will be familiar with the poem below, and even better if you have heard it sung in the rich deep voice of Richard Tauber.
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.