In the woods?

In my part of the world, in a city morphing from a small city to a large one, there is an ongoing tiff over cutting down patriarch oaks, hundreds of years old, to make way for new developments. A lot of emotion has been spoken, written, despaired on both sides of the issue.Ficus Tree

I’ve lived here for thirty years and have seen good developments and some really bad when even every blade of grass is clear cut and native trees are cut and replaced with spindly crepe myrtles, which in retrospect is still better than no tree at all. When my magnificent pecan tree became diseased and I had no choice about having it cut down, it was heartbreaking.

In southwest Florida, there is a majestic and huge ficus tree the City of Fort Myers wants to cut down. This tree is magnificent, sprawling and ancient. The neighborhood where the tree lives in a waterfront park, are up in arms and desperate to save the tree, now more than a century old!

In a last desperate attempt to save the tree, Karen Cooper married it. Yes, you’re reading right, she married the tree in a real wedding ceremony, with flowers, music, white dresses and a wedding cake and Little Bear the canine ring bearer. She was joined by Dana Foglesong, another tree bride marrying the “groom,” tree.

Bride by tree

Ms. (is the tree Mr. Cooper, or Mr. Ficus?) was joined by several other brides who all vowed to honor and protect the tree, before more than fifty onlookers.

An arborist determined the groom tree is in robust health and could tolerate a careful pruning, in other words, the groom will get a haircut.

Mrs. Ficus declared if her husband tree is cut down, she will declare herself a widow. Hmm… I wonder if Mr. Ficus has life insurance.

And so it goes in Florida, or as Ponce de Leon named it “La Florida,” maybe he meant, “Land of Goofiness?”