Tree You Later


Caylee Caldwell, Opinion Editor

Big, wide, bottle green branches stretch out from a trunk that, if you look closely, can be seen leaning forward towards the open space of the Highland courtyard. The enormous pine tree looks down upon the courtyard where the students eat their lunch and lounge in the trees expanse of shade.


But very soon, this pine tree, this looming courtyard giant, will meet its end.


It has been decided by the school, that the pine tree in the Highland courtyard, the one right between the grass and green house, is to be cut down. While Highland administration will miss this evergreen, the safety of the students takes top priority.


“It’s leaning. If you look, it’s really big, and it’s leaning, and you can actually see the outline of the root ball in the ground. If it were to potentially fall, we looked at where it would fall, and it would cause a lot of damage,” Principal Chris Jenson said.


The tree itself is too big to be relocated or be fixed in any way, leaving the only standing solution to be cutting the looming giant down. While some may wonder what the big deal is, why they should even care about this tree, others understand that this tree is a part of Highland and a living organism.


“It’s just a big and handsome tree. I just think it would be a shame to see it go. If they’re going to cut one down they should at least replace it,” Audrey Kelly, Junior at Highland, said.


Kelly isn’t the only one that wants it replaced, Jenson is determined to get a word in with the building ground administration in hopes of getting a say in what happens to that space.


“We’re going to plant at least one tree, maybe more, to replace it,” Jenson said.


Not only that, but Jenson plans on doing something for the school with the wood of the pine tree, to bring something new to Highland while keeping something from the past.


The cut date of the pine tree is still undetermined, times ranging from “soon” to around summer time. The students at Highland will still have a few weeks before the departure if the courtyard pine, and hopefully take just a few moments at lunch to pat it’s emerald needles and say goodbye.


“We used to have a beautiful, red flowering chestnut that was a huge tree. It was so pretty and you could see it through the windows, and they had to take that one out because it had too many bugs and it was old and rotting. Trees get old.”


Trees get old, they lean, and they change. Highland must change with the growth, and while it’s sad to see the green giant go, room has been made for new growth, new scenery, and new trees.