There are plenty of trees around where I live on campus and it had not struck me when I first moved in that many of them had a rather consistent arrangement around the bungalow here. After walking past a few times I did notice that they had been planted in rows and were fairly evenly spaced apart, and all of them were very similar in size – maybe around ten inches in diameter with the tops of the trees probably 20 or 30 feet up. I never thought to ask why they were arranged in a pattern like that, nor why they grew with such clumps at about six feet up. It just never dawned on me that these are just really tall crops. I took them to give me a little shade and a touch of privacy between the neighboring house.
That was until about a week ago. At that point some of the men who work on the grounds came through with machetes and hacked and chopped at the limbs at about the six-foot level until tree after tree had a rather stilted, column-like look. The wood apparently is being used for the school which I presume to mean firewood for the kitchen. Each tree got the axe (though no axe was used for the job which would have yielded better results in my opinion) surrounding my house and it really has changed the look and the amount of light I get in the bedroom wing.
As the work continued this morning I heard the men working at the tree closest to my bedroom window. I presumed they knew what they were lopping off so I just went about my business until the sound of a rather large trunk came down with a whoomp and a thud. My window was brushed by the falling branches and when I peaked outside to see what they had done I realized how close the tree was to actually hitting the house. About eight or ten feet of clearance was all they had and I was a bit thankful that was not the sound I heard at 7AM when I was just waking up. It would have scared me pretty good.
So I now walk to class through a stub-ridden field. Poor trees, they will just sprout more branches and try to grow tall again with similar results in about a year's time. I am glad that they don't cut my hair with the same method.