A tale of three trees

Last week our friend, Eva, was out and about in Branson and ended up at the fish hatchery, where there was some kind of special celebration going on (Earth Day, perhaps?), and “they” were giving away trees.  She came home with a 15-inch tall redbud sapling and instructions on how to plant it.  Mainly a hole had to be dug that was 12 inches deep and 12 inches across.  Eva was widowed last year and some problems with her shoulders, back, and hip, so we walked down, Scott dug the hole for her, and we helped her get the little guy into the ground.  Her yard being one massive expanse of grass with only one or two trees, she had plenty of room to add a redbud.

Yesterday, Eva phoned Scott and if we wanted a redbud tree and a dogwood tree – no charge.  I’m guessing she was at the same place.  We told her sure, we’d like to have one of each, and just a few minutes later she brought them by the house.  However, we actually ended up with two dogwoods and a redbud, and one of the dogwoods even had tiny leaf buds!

Today we went out to plant them and you wouldn’t think it would be so hard to figure out where in a one-acre yard to plant three trees.  In the end, I am not sure we made the best choices, but the trees are in the ground and we shall see how they grow.  One dogwood is in the front yard between the driveway and the sidewalk.  Yes, there are two other trees in that same area, but the paper birch is almost dead and needs to be cut down, and the red maple that my flower bed surrounds is not looking too good either.  So the dogwood may get center stage there one of these days.  That is, if it doesn’t get trampled by everyone who ever pulls into our driveway and comes to the front door.

The other dogwood is on the back property line, just about where Scott did his Samson imitation in pushing over the dead tree last week.  It is near to another very large tree which I just realized today is very dead and which Scott assures me will be able to be removed without either crashing into the power line to the wellhouse (read “down power line equals no water”) should it fall one way, or landing on the baby dogwood should it fall the other way.  Hmmm.

It was easier to figure out where to place the redbud.  Along Coffee Road we have a number of trees all in a row, among them a red maple, a HUGE Bradford pear, an ENORMOUS boxelder, and two plum trees.  There are a few more in that line, but I’m not even sure what they are.  However, there is a nice spot just out from the laundry room door where there’s a big gap in that line.  The gap is fairly shady, well-drained, and obviously crying out for a lovely, blossom-laden redbud.

Scott was all ready to dig the hole there, but then he came around the corner to ask me how big of a deal it would be to plant a tree directly under a power line.  Grrrrrr. . . ?  I went back over to the site and studied it.  While it is true that the power line coming to our property IS directly above that potential redbud site (might that be why there’s a gap in the tree line?), that same power line already runs directly THROUGH the leafy branches of two of our other trees (those planted on either side of that site).  They are both massive trees with massive branches.  Redbuds are said to have “thin wispy” branches.  The line is some 18 feet above ground at that point, and we decided that if and when this eight-inch-high twig gets reaches 18 feet, we’ll deal with the conflict of interest then.  So the hole was dug and the tree was planted.

I watered all three well – which may have been unnecessary as it rained off and on today, including two different frog stranglers – and applied the mulch we had on hand.  Today was my day to stay home and Scott’s day to make multiple Wal-Mart runs, so when he went the second time to help Andrew return his defective bicycle inner tube, he also picked up more mulch, which I will add to the trees tomorrow.

In other news of horticultural interest, four of my six tomatoes seem to have survived the rigors of their first few days of  life in the barrels.  I have a few more tomatoes – plus some peppers – that have been transplanted into 3″ peat pots and are hardening off in the mini-greenhouse.  Hopefully they will all be ready to plant in another week or so.  I have 280 pounds of potting soil on hand (yes, I know that seven bags was probably overkill, but they were only $2.48 each), and several five gallon buckets ready for the tomatoes, but I’m stumped as to where to set them for them to get enough sun AND be within reach of the hose.  The couple places I had considered putting them (maybe along the smokehouse, maybe near the air conditioners) end up not getting much sun at all. They do get a few hours of sunlight, but then shade takes over.

Maybe it has something to do with the ever-increasing number of trees in the yard.

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