It’s the little things that count.

It’s the small things that count, or in this case one BIG thing. The beloved tamarind tree on Spring Bay.

We don’t know how old this tree really is, but Tina has pictures of her grandparents under this tree back in the 20’s or so, and even THEN it was huge. So at least 100 years old. This tree has shaded hundreds of guests, been the back drop to many photos, hosted many birthdays, and even a couple of Canada day parties to name a few.

When Irma ripped through Virgin Gorda she tried to take this precious tree with her. It was a day or two after the storm (sorry everything’s still a blur at times) when we decided to venture through the fallen debris and head to the beach. We just needed a swim, because that heals everything right! We knew it would be a sad sight, but we weren’t prepared to see the tree on its side. We just stared at it in awe. It was then we really realized just how strong Irma was. It was also then that we were determined to get the tree standing again.

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It took some time to clear the road to the beach since it was full of fallen bushes, pieces of roofs and other debris. The groundsmen chopped and chainsawed all the large stuff, and the ladies piled it all up onto the side. Even two guests who rode Irma out at Guavaberry chipped in clearing the way! Finally, three weeks after Irma we were able to get a backhoe down to the beach and start the resurrection.

Let it be noted, that apart from clearing bush for the three weeks after the storm, the tree was the FIRST “fix” we made. Houses can be rebuilt over time, we can assess damages as we need to, but helping to heal mother nature took first priority. We had to get those roots back in, and fast. Some might think that sounds silly, but it was important to us and many others. It also gave us our first feeling of accomplishment. One small step, but a step forward none the less!

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The process to get the tree back up was quite the feat. It took a backhoe to lift the tree while the other guys were scurrying around securing straps between the branches and surrounding rocks, climbing up the tree to nail in salvaged boards as supports and Tina supervising the whole ordeal. It took an hour or so but in the end it was a success. Sure, it might not be particularly straight, and some roots might need attention later, but for now… She’s up!

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Over the next few weeks we waited, visited, watered, and even talked to the tree. We are happy to see that the effort has payed off and new leaves have sprouted and shade is coming back.

We like to think of the tree as a symbol of strength. A little teamwork, determination and willpower and we too will “sprout new leaves” in the coming months.

tree progression

12 thoughts on “It’s the little things that count.

  1. There are tears of joy falling on my keyboard as I type this. Thank you so much for your “tree-scue” and for sharing this. We’re looking forward to the day we can come back and see your good work.

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  2. One more reason we love all our long time friends at guava berry we will miss you this year but are looking forward to seeing you all again next year.

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  3. The story of this tree rescue absolutely summarises the spirit of the Guavaberry team and how one should face adversity You all work together to make our stay with you perfect and now when the chips are down you still are working together to rebuild your home and its beautiful surroundings We are wishing you well from London and can’t wait to come back next year

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  4. This is why we love Tina, her family, the crew and everything else about Guavaberry. Thank you so much for resurrecting, caring for and loving THE tree!!

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  5. This post made me cry, but the tears are happy ones. I adore that tree and everything she stands for, and I know many other (maybe all?) Guavaberry guests feel the same. To see that tree resurrected, and flourishing with new growth, is, as others have said here, so representative of what and who make Guavaberry the special paradise it is. You must feel so strong every time you look at the tree and think about how, collectively, you outsmarted Irma and saved a tree that was down but still able to re-root and live on. We can’t wait to see the grand Guavaberry tamarind in 2019, and give her a hug. After we stop in the office to hug you all, of course ❤️

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  6. This made my day! What an amazing story. Thank you for the updates and I look forward to sitting under the tree again someday .

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  7. Guavaberry roots run deep – no doubt all will flourish with time! Waiting for the day we can return and see that beautiful tree again!

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  8. Our hearts skipped a beat when we saw the tree down after the storm. All the previous comments have summed up our feelings so well. That tree has been the heart (and shade) of the beach where friendships were formed, books were read, naps were taken, and the staring off into space was perfected. However, that tree now symbolizes so much more…..the GSB spirit of strength, courage, hope, love, and the future…..it is VG Strong!

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  9. your blog is wonderful and beautifully written and executed. Congratulations and many thanks to the very talented writer. WELL DONE. Your Tamarind Tree story is a keeper. Very special.

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  10. Wow, like others I teared up. Seeing the leaves on that tree … wow. I can’t wait to get down there and sit under it.

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