I’ve always had a fascination with trees. Even when I was a child I loved to climb trees. I remember climbing so high my parents almost had a heart attack. It was a chestnut tree and I remember swaying back and forth on this tiny little branch with not a care in the world. Across the street from my grandmothers house my aunt and I would set up a make believe house in the trees and we would have stones to sit on and our house would be swept with a long branch. I wonder if kids play anything like that today. I’m guessing no.
Walking home from school my neighborhood friends and I would swing from what I can only describe as a Tarzan swing over a land fill. I have never seen a rope that size. The knot was so large and round that you could either sit or stand on the knot and swing from one side to the other. Hard to say how far the swing went out but it was a good distance. I would have loved to meet the person who put the rope up. It is one of the fondest memories of my youth.
I remember being in sixth grade when they first introduced earth day and we planted trees in the school yard. I always felt pride, being a part of something so big. At Christmas, we would buy small pines and plant them after the holidays to watch them grow, which made me feel like I was helping in some small way. Several years ago, I bought three Japanese Redwoods and planted them. They were small and have not grown very much in the last few years. Someone once commented I should have gotten a larger size and my response was its fun to watch something grow and thrive through the years.
My husband’s favorite tree on the property is a Red River Birch. The trunk of the tree looks like paper shredding. Visualized from a distance the bark looks to be copper colored. It is very unique. I guess my all time favorite tree would be the Maple. Nothing beats a Maple in the fall. Not only the leaves on the tree but when many of the leaves fall on the ground and you stand under the tree the color is magnificent. My second favorite would be a Weeping Birch. It grows fast! We planted it close to the pond hoping it would provide shade for the fish. The leaves are now hanging in the water and it is very large. It is a favorite spot for birds to perch and watch for fish they hope to prey on. I have recently learned that Pine trees can kill certain fish if planted too close to ponds. Also, Oleander can be detrimental.
We have several Tulip Trees that were given to us by relatives and they are growing nicely. Their blossoms in the spring are very pretty. However the leaves in the fall are like a blanket and hard to get rid of. They just don’t blow away. The whole wood line is peppered with Hickory Trees and I’ve said before finding the little gems is one of my favorite past times. We have a Walking Stick Tree that may be on its last leg. We have had the tree for many years and to me it looks like a grape vine that has grown into a tree. It is quite unique. One of the problems with this tree however is that it attracts Japanese Beetles. I have removed the white grape vine from the property in hope that the Beatles would disappear. They have attacked my roses but the main attractant is the grapevine. The Beatles may be responsible for the demise of the Walking Stick, however I am still holding out hope for the recovery of the tree.
Before my daughter got married she would go looking at flowers and trees with us and she picked out the Scarlet Hawthorne tree that is on the peninsula by the pond. It has beautiful pink flowers in the spring and in the fall has red berries. It also has very large thorns. She has always considered that to be her tree.
Last but not least are the fruit trees. We have a Sour Cherry Tree that only the Baltimore Orioles like. We have a Pear Tree that produces wonderful pears but as my husband related not long ago “When the pears are ripe, they are all ripe and must be eaten fast!” The Apple trees are a pleasure because not only are they great to eat but are covered in little twinkle lights that light up our back yard all year long. The reason for the lights will have to be told in another story because it truly deserves its own story.
We had the property logged a couple of years ago and the only thing they took was Cherry. It didn’t amount to very many trees and you can hardly tell where they were. I now have to agree that if you get the right logger, the removal of certain trees can be very beneficial to the environment. There are more varieties that we have planted over the last thirty years and each is unique in its own way. I have wished for many years now that we had planted Oak and more Cherry so that someone in the future could enjoy them.
From our backyard to your, plant some trees and help the environment!