The Weeping Ash Tree

I love trees and tree hugging can be reassuring and spiritually uplifting. Trees matter to all of us, especially to we who live in cities, because they absorb atmospheric pollutants thus purifying the air we breathe. They also provide a habitat for birds and wildlife, recreation and tourism opportunities and an excellent educational resource. Stress and depression reduce when we take quiet walks in the tranquil ambience of trees.

At the bottom of our secret garden at Canoe Lake stands a beautiful fig tree in need of a hug especially at this time of the year. So go and talk to all trees wherever you may be. Give a tree a thought, a word, a hug. I guarantee you will relax and give yourself a smile.

By Irene Strange

Standing so majestically

Its branches hung down from this giant tree.

The winter chill had come and stayed

Scattering frostbite patterns it had made.

Cascading leaves had fluttered down

Leaving branches of sullen brown.


Sixty feet high its trunk had stood

Nature’s growth of ancient wood

Its branches swaying gently in the breeze

Bowing and curtsying without the leaves


The mighty Ash had stood strong and fast,

Survived two world wars of winter’s blast,

And yet today, its splendour would

Be cut back for its own good.


So gallant and forceful it had grown

And I for one would cry and moan.

But it had grown too big a giant

Its proud trunk would remain defiant

Heavy boughs, hung, it’s fate to meet

Trailing branches at my feet his bright, cold and sunny morn

The sun beamed down, but so forlorn.


These must be lopped before it fell

Upon the house and all that dwell.

Sadly the birds would perch no more

Black birds, pigeons, crows and all

Goldfinch, blue tits fly asunder.

No shelter from the rain and thunder.


Over One hundred and twenty years

Your stalwart roots have known no fears.

O Weeping Ash, I cry with you

Until Spring is borne and you grow anew.


Inspiration: The poem and article refer to the weeping ash tree growing in the front garden of a nursing home in Albert Grove and that is directly opposite my lounge window. This is my favourite tree and therefore when it was due to be pollarded because of weather and weight I was most concerned. Pollarding is a technique whereby the stem or branches of a tree are trimmed in order to restrict the overall height of the tree. This particular tree is 120 years old. I was devastated by what they did in one day while it was fully green.


Pens of the Earth is about environmental tales from a positive Portsmouth – encouraging writers to celebrate existing environmental initiatives, and to imagine what might be. This year, we will also be supporting two charities, one global, one local.

Help us to support our global reforestation charity Tree Sisters and plant 2,000 trees by March 2021.

Click on the logo above to donate via Pens of the Earth’s TreeSisters page. Every £10 plants around 25 trees.

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Image by Irene Strange.


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