Once upon a time, maybe 10 years ago,
we planted five trees. Three of them bit the dust before the first
leaf sprang forth, but two made it. They were/are Bradford Pears,
they're somewhere between 20-30 feet tall and every spring they
bloom out in white that lasts a few breathtaking days before they
settle into green for the long haul.
So, we consider our 40 percent
success rate to be a victory.
About five years ago we decided to try
again. The utility board had decided that a tree that provided shade
to our front yard had gotten in the some power wires and needed to
come down. We weren't upset about this. We'd actually requested
this tree be cut down by the utility board only to be told, in a
surprisingly hostile tone, that it wasn't their job to cut down
We shrugged and two years later we came
home one day and the tree was gone. We assume it was the electric
company, but I guess it could've been somebody in desperate need of
Whoever it was, we seized it as an
opportunity plant a tree a little further into the yard so it
wouldn't grow into the power lines, but would provide us with some
shade on our front deck area. We didn't really do any research and
grabbed the first tree in our price range and planted it, thinking in
a couple of years we'd have copious shade for our summer evenings
when the sun is RIGHT THERE.
Five years later that tree is about 12
feet tall and providing no shade at all unless you stand right under
it. I keep hoping for a growth spurt, but my hope is fading.
We had two other gigantic trees that
were there when we moved onto the property, but they were always more
trouble than they were worth. They provided nice shade, but they
started shedding their leaves as soon as they came out in the spring.
Nothing will mess with your head more than having your yard look like
its early November in June.
Last year, after much debating,
constantly cleaning leaves out of the pool became too much and we had
the trees cut down. This solved the leaf debris problem, but made
sitting on the front porch in the evenings all but unbearable with
the sun scorching everything in sight.
We decided to try our hands at tree
planting again. This mainly came about because a discount store, for
some reason, had a bunch of trees sitting in its parking lot and we
bought two twigs that claim to be Sycamore trees for a cheap price
compared to what big name stores wanted.
We did our research this time, looking
at more on the tag than just the price. The tag said these trees
would grow anywhere from 25-30 feet in height, spread out, but not
too far and needed minimal care once they became established.
We thought this was right up our alley
and bought the trees. We procured some mulch and fertilizer and
planted them about 30 feet from the porch and about 15 feet apart,
thinking (hoping) that in about 2-3 years, before we became too old
to enjoy it, we'd have our porch back in the evenings.
And maybe it'll be sooner than that.
Internet searches told a different story about Sycamore trees. The
Internet, which never lies, said Sycamore trees grow anywhere from
75-100 feet in height, spread almost as far out and tend to dump
enough leaves to give you blisters from raking, even if you wear
This upset the wife to no end. She saw
visions of a leaf covered yard, a pool that was almost unusable due
to the leaves and, worst of all, the utility board cutting them down
when they became entangled in the power lines.
I told her she was getting ahead of
herself. With our success rate in planting trees (we're up to 50
percent now) I said we'd cross that bridge when we came to it, if
we ever did. Considering the best time to plant a tree is 20 years
ago, I figure we'll probably be in a nursing home by the time these
two reach full growth.
So, what exciting things have been
happening in your world?
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