My nephew, Ryan (he of many secret blogs!) has a great post here on how easily we are deceived even by our own hearts. Read the whole thing or enjoy this outtake...
"Approximately three hours and three large and heavy bundles later, I had a different perspective. What had appeared to be a reasonably healthy tree was in fact mostly dead (but not all dead - no looking for loose change yet!) and heavily infested. In working on the tree I clipped off all the dead branches I could reach, pulled many large weeds and small trees from around the base, removed several large branches that had snuck through the fence from neighbouring trees, and washed out all the accumulated sawdust and soil from the ant infestations. The remainder is a barely recognizable trunk and a few branches that still bear green leaves.
How had I been so fooled? How did I not see the tree was so close to death? The reasons are many, and they spoke directly to my heart:
* The decay happened gradually
* My expectations were lowered
* The rot was hidden
* The damage was camoflauged"