One tree stands alone in the corner of our garden, and this autumn we had it cut back. When I got home from work to see what the gardeners had done, I stumbled on a crime scene. Under a forensics lamp, a squad of professionals were packing away their cutters and pouring water over their hands, while the chief took photos of the amputated body. In the apartments over the wall, a woman stood on her balcony, arms folded, no hint of gratitude for her new corridor of sunlight. She finished her cigarette and turned away.