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Woman finds strength in community while coping with the loss of a beloved tree in storm

When a powerful storm hit Margaret Buzzard's Tuscon neighborhood, it took away more than just the tranquility of the area.

Woman finds strength in community while coping with the loss of a beloved tree in storm
Cover Image Source: YouTube | KGUN9

Margaret Buzzard knew that the storm was going to be heavy on her and the entire locality, but did not think that it would uproot her 25-year-old tree. The tree has been with her through many challenges of life and she thought that it would easily be able to surpass a storm. Unfortunately, this was not the case. In such times, she was supported by her community who, like her, were also bereaved by the loss, as per KGUN 9.

The Mesquite tree has been a long-time staple of the community, having given shade and emotional support to the community. Many people in the neighborhood, especially Buzzard and her family, have spent a long time with the tree and therefore, the parting was difficult.


Buzzard's neighborhood in Tuscon had recently suffered from hail and she had stepped out to see the damage it had inflicted on her house. She was shocked to see that her 25-year-old tree had fallen victim to the storm. She reflected on her first reaction at seeing her beloved tree uprooted, “We’re all paying attention to the hail and then I look up and I’m like oh my god, my tree is gone.” Her relationship with the Mesquite tree has been emotional as it had been present in many pivotal moments. Hence, its demise was so much more emotional for her. Since the tree was huge in size, one of its branches was standing out in such a way that people from across the street thought that the tree was still standing.


Buzzard found the wreckage on Friday and by Monday her front yard was filled with little pieces of wood. Many people came to see the condition of the tree as, similar to Buzzard, they also had a long-lasting relationship with the tree. The community was saddened by the loss of the tree. Buzzard said of the impact the tree has had on the neighborhood: “We were the Hobbit house and the kids would come and play under the tree. Our neighbor would park his car under the tree and now it’s gone.”

However, the tree had to be removed from the front yard as it would otherwise get dangerous for Buzzard and her family to walk through the area. It was nearly impossible for her and her family to singlehandedly remove the remnants of the tree; the community decided to pitch in. Almost 25 neighbors came together to support them in this endeavor. Neighbors came with a saw and other equipment to help Buzzard with the wreckage. People kept at it all day. It wasn't just the people that knew Buzzard and her family that came to help but also those who had never met the family. Saul Gibbs, who lived in the neighborhood but did not know Buzzard, helped her see the pieces of the tree into smaller pieces.

Gibbs talked about his reasoning behind helping someone he didn't know: "It’s just the neighborly thing to do. If something like that had happened to me, I would hope for a little help.” All of this help has given Buzzard a lot of hope regarding the world which, in her opinion, became a bit isolated during the COVID pandemic. She now wants to pass on the spirit and will give the wood from her beloved tree to her 14-year-old neighbor and her family to make trees and clocks.

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