But while I’m now entering middle age, the maple tree is just barely an adult. A maple is considered a seedling for about its first 15 years of life. Then it spends another 15 or 20 years as a sapling. At about 30 or 35, the tree finally becomes an adult. Its growth slows, but it never stops entirely.
Some maples live for more than 300 years. So if my tree is lucky, it will still be shading this house long after I’m gone. But the odds are against it. Just like humans and other animals, trees are susceptible to a wide variety of diseases.
Who knows how long my maple will survive. But for now it is strong and healthy, making it a pleasure to watch as it changes through the seasons.