Oh, my Late Lamented Lombardi Poplar, what has become of you? You were always so tall and full of life. Well, you're still tall--the ones which remain upright that is-- but you're as dead as a doornail now, all eight of you.
You're dropping branches all over the place. You've been doing that since that horrible ice storm we had-- what was it, three years ago now? Yes, you never did recover from that. But you held on...for quite a bit, just barely. Each year thereafter you were just a little less fit to be seen. And now --sigh--not one solitary leaf to be seen and one stiff breeze and you're likely to come smashing down onto the sand mound...good thing you're not too close to the house, though you are a good 40-50 feet high.
I planted you on the fence line because you were a quick growing tree, forming a good wind break for the nasty winter gusts we always get up here on this ridge. It's bitterly cold here so, every little bit helps.
I used to love watching your leaves flutter in the breeze...the rustling sound so enchanting. I suppose I took you for granted...the years passed so swiftly.
You were a fine, sky-high perch for the red-wing black birds who love to lord over their territory. Now the boisterous birdies steer clear of you because every time they try to perch on one of your dead branches, another one breaks off and tumbles down to the ground. Good thing they have wings!
You shielded us from the neighbor's grouchy expressions and I do appreciate that. You gave a lovely silhouette for those sunset photos I often take--not that I can find nary a one to post here.
Oh, Lombardi Poplar, what a disappointment you have been. I knew from the first you were a short lived tree, but it's only been 25 years since I planted those skinny little twigs they called trees. You were supposed to stick around for 30+ years. It says so in the Arbor Day Book of Trees! So where does that leave me? If you can't trust what you find in the Arbor Day Book of Trees, what can you trust???
Yay, though I now walk in the shadow of your former self, I shall not want, for you will be taken down and replaced in due time--with any luck within a couple of weeks. In fact I suspected your demise was inevitable and so with such knowledge last autumn I planted French Pussy willows in the space between each one of you. Do not take it personally, but I shall forget you were ever there once something else is growing, thriving and doing what you had done before. Life goes on, you see.
Fare thee well, my late lamented Lombardi Poplar. My compost pile will welcome you with open arms.