Farewell to Sonoma Mountain's
GREAT OAK TREE
Our lovely Oak Tree in front of Genjoji’s sangha house has been diseased for over 20 years. We have tried many ways to save the tree and prolong its life. In 2016 Jon Kaiten Perry, 2004 resident work-leader and now arborist in Hawaii, severely pruned back the tree to lighten its weight hoping to encourage new growth and restore its health. Jon has been keeping a close eye on the tree's condition and its response. In the past couple of years there’s been significant signs of weakening at the tree's base. It has become evident that we need to remove the tree as soon as possible before it becomes more of a danger to visiting guests and our Sangha.
This Great Oak tree has existed as long as we can remember. It’s like our dearest friend – standing openly available and deeply present. It’s one of the great sentinels that protects the grounds of our temple. Not only has it shielded us from the elements; sun, wind and rain, but it has protected 1,000’s of guests, visitors, teachers and practitioners coming from all around the world to awaken under its golden parasol. For over 50 years it has provided a sacred space and a container holding the depth of practice, encouraging all of us to realize what is most important. Our children have climbed, played and ran around this great tree like playing with a close friend. Birds, squirrels, bees, moss and countless insects have made the tree their home. Even Jon Perry SMZC’s past work-leader began his tree climbing journey on this very Great Oak and is now a professional arborist in Hawaii. Jon said, “It’s like coming full circle. The last thing I want to do is to cut the tree down, but we have to do it.”
Please join us for the tree removal work and the memorial ceremony in honor of the life and well-being of Genjoji’s Great Oak Tree.
Jakusho Kwong-roshi Shinko Kwong
GREAT OAK TREE MEMORIAL
Everyone is welcome to attend the Great Oak Tree Memorial Ceremony on Saturday April 9th at 11:00am.
TEAM, SUPPLIES AND EQUIPMENT NEEDED
We are in the process of assembling a strong team of 5 people to assist Jon Perry with the tree removal work scheduled for April 11-15, 2022. We need to rent or borrow; 4-5 chainsaws (18-20”/36”), mini skid steer, big dump trailer and a stump grinder. It will take 2 days to lay the tree down and 3 days for cleanup and processing. To help us with tree work please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
Please make a generous donation towards equipment rental and services using the donation link on this page, or send a check in the mail to SMZC’s mailing address.
TOP: Kwong-roshi purifies tree with sacred water from Lake Manasarovar during the Great Oak Blessing and Prolonging Life ceremony, 2016
2nd FROM TOP: SMZC's sangha recites the Heart Sutra during the Great Oak Blessing Ceremony
3rd FROM TOP: Arborist & tree climbing champion, Jon Perry, updates our sangha on the Great Oak's health. Jon is founder of Oahu Tree Works in Hawaii
BOTTOM: Sangha members and residents gather under the Great Oak for work practice.