A Story of a Lost Cherry Tree - Rhia Janta-Cooper Fine Art

A Story of a Lost Cherry Tree

Here is a story about a special tree that held a dear place in my heart. However, I must warn you, it's a sad one.

 Cherry Tree from Pontefract by RJC as reference for my paintings

A photograph of my beloved cherry tree from Pontefract

The story is an absolute scream from my heart.

This cherry tree was a beautiful, unique, and healthy sight to behold. It grew peacefully on a moderately quiet roundabout in Pontefract, and it was a distinctive feature and a prominent landmark in the southern part of the town.

I often visited, greeted, and photographed the tree on my daily walks with Harvey and planned to paint a few paintings of trees, especially of this unique cherry tee.

Knowing that this extraordinary tree was growing in a roundabout… There were thoughts in the back of my mind... It is difficult to explain, but there was always a suspicion or fear that they might put away the tree one day. I felt happy every time I've seen it. It stood firm, looking powerful, and held its mighty branches towards the sky—a beautiful sight.

But one day, the saddest, worst, and most terrible day in my life happened. Suddenly, the tree was no more. It had been stripped of all its branches, and only a stump remained. I was utterly shocked, speechless, and unable to get a word out.… Shock!

People were working around (in fact, they were having a cosy breakfast break)!

I wanted to run towards them, kick their bread and coffee away, and stop them from killing the tree! No. No way. I realised that. It was too late! I wanted to scream! I did not. I was stunned, aghast, appalled, unable to get a word out - speechless. In reality, I still am.

Back at home, I tried to explain why I was so upset. My husband called some responsible places in Wakefield. After a few weeks of phone calls and many emails, we finally had a visit from the arborist accountable for the tree's removal.

I know that he is a friendly person, but I cannot help calling him a "killer" because of my anger and sadness. He explained the tree's illness to us and said it was too ill to save, but I couldn't see any visual proof of his judgment. I was very disappointed, and I still am.

He gave us a lot of information. He spoke something about disliking cutting branches of trees or pruning them because it causes too much stress. I understand. So, cutting the entire tree down is less stressful for the tree! Right?

He told us they had in the past pruned the tree not correctly. For me, this is not a reason to kill a tree!

He also said something about illness and the tree. Something about fungi and Chicken of the Woods!

OK, Chicken of the Woods is a dangerous fungus for a tree and might lead to its collapse. This is true, and it can be hazardous. However, the disease is prominently visible as a striking golden-yellow shelf-like fungi formation.

Sorry, I had many recent photographs showing no sign of this sort of fungi on the cherry tree trunk, anywhere close or above or just NOT AT ALL. On the other hand, the arborist had no visual proof for his judgment… (!) No pictures, no nothing. (!) Just his words, only.

I was very disappointed and OK; we cannot make the tree whole again. They removed the tree. It's finished! That's all. In any case, it was a pointless visit because we couldn't glue the tree back together, could we?

 My beloved Cherry Tree from Pontefract

Cherry Tree in Autumn

It is a tragic loss to lose such a magnificent tree. I hope that we can all save trees and protect them for future generations.

Be Aware & Save the Trees - If Only You Can!




They help reduce climate change, improve air quality, and benefit our lives.

Please check out my paintings Cherry Tree Before Felling and Cherry Tree Painting dedicated to this enormous and beautiful cherry tree.

Read also my reflections on art, healing, and the complexity of emotions.

P.S. I haven't visited this place where the tree stood ever again. I just can't do it! It could break my heart again.



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