My beloved elderflower tree is only 1/8th mine. I live in a complex with a body corporate and the land where the tree is, while directly behind my property and not indeed visible to most of the houses, is on communal land. For the last three or four years I have looked forward to spring and making delicious elderflower cordial. Another friend has made elderflower champagne for her friends from this tree and this was going to be the year that I got up the ladder and harvested the berries for jam.
We have a drain problem. Our property has flooded during some of Wellington's more extreme rainfall. Tree roots blocking the drains seems the most likely reason. The tree surgeons arrive tomorrow.
I'm thrilled with the decision to remove 95% of the trees.
But losing the elderflower really hurts.
This time last year I was making elderflower cordial for my daughter's crèche teachers as a farewell gift. Now she has been at school for a year and my youngest daughter is helping me to make the cordial. Making cordial is a great activity for a two year old - they can scoop sugar (there is a lot of sugar in elderflower cordial), squeeze lemons and oranges and help to collect the flowers.
I'm going to take cuttings tomorrow, and friends have offered me access to their known elderflower haunts. But I'm really, really going to miss 'my' tree.