Whoops, there goes another...
by Jerome Little | May 16, 2006
Weíve had several days of beautifully light steady rain
and the time for tilling and planting is nigh. Flowers will be bedded and
tomatoes and corn and other stuff gardened. I love to see things planted in the
spring. I donít like to plant them, I like to see those who know what they are
doing plant them. I am not one of those green thumb people. Most of what I have
planted over the years didnít make it. That is the primary reason that I write
a column instead of hosting a TV gardening show.
I like the veggies and fruit that come from the family
plot; I just wished it were the fast growing variety. Someone needs to develop
a three week corn plant. Knee high by the fourth of July my foot. I want to be
gnawing ears by that time. Everything in the garden seems to take much too long
to produce a level of satisfaction equal to the effort spent.
Now trees are an enlarged version of this problem. Our
home has no trees around it. The closest shade producing plant is some seventy
yards away. We have fantastic woodland all around, but not close enough to
actually be in our yard.
My wife loves trees, and has taken it upon herself to
move the woods closer, little tree by little tree. Shortly after we moved in,
she found a little oak tree in the woods and enlisted me in the transplanting
of the same. I opted for pounding several acorns in the ground but she didnít
think that was a good idea. If we dug up the tree and transplanted it, she
reasoned, we would shorten the growing period by some several years.
After a couple hours of sweat and mud, there stood our
mighty oak, in all its four foot glory. I produced more shade that it did. I
asked her how old she though weíd be when that tree was actually taller than
either of us. I figured Iíd give Noah a run for his money on that one.
Nonplussed, she tromped off into the flora in search of another victim, I mean
She had a book on trees and in point of fact had learned
several indigenous species. I on the other hand, knew two kinds. The bushy
topped ones and the pointy topped ones. I told her I didnít want the pointy
kind in the yard, get bushy ones. She complied. Within a couple of weeks we had
two apples, two maples, one box elder and a couple of something I canít
remember planted around the yard. All we had to do is sit back for a couple
decades and viola, shade.
But alas it wasnít to be. You see, I also had made a new
acquisition. A riding lawn tractor or mower, if you will. I think tractor
sounds better. At any rate, I found out it cuts trees as well as grass. That
thing can make Paul Bunyan look sick.†
Hard as I tried, that machine sought out anything growing taller than
the lawn and attacked it with a vengeance. With all my might I would get a
death grip on the steering wheel and slowly navigate around and between the
trees, watching the edge of the cutting deck ever so closely. Whoops, there
goes another... The ones that werenít completely severed I would try to stand
back up, hoping they would re-take. Fat chance. Off to the wood, spade in hand
to replace my harvest.
My lovely mate decided that if she surrounded the
fledgling trees with chicken wire, they would have a chance to see their teens.
Letís just say sheís lucky she didnít try to raise chickens. The vision I have
of that is just, well just too graphic to elaborate on here. At least with
trees there arenít all those feathers to clean up. Then thereís all the, well,
I came home from work the other day to find new recruits
lined up on parade. Pointy topped trees! I guess my ever patient wife figured I
would see the evergreens better than the other kind. I hope sheís right. I am
pulling for the survival of these, as not only will they provide shade, but
also a wind break during those long cold winter months. Of course, this will
take many years and by that time Iíll have been put in some retirement home.
Maybe theyíll have a nice patio with tall shade trees for me to enjoy. Itís a
safe bet they wonít let me near any lawnmowers. See you around.
This article first appeared in the May 16 issue of the