I must confess something to you. I have been known on occasion to brag up my green thumb, yes, its shocking but true. Most of the time I can back that statement up but not now…
Now at this very moment a reddish-brown shriveled husk of a tree sits in my front yard, a testimony to my ignorance and arrogance. I know enough about trees to know better. It is a foolhardy and risky endeavor to plant a tree where one once stood, especially an old sick one. I am guilty of such an offense.
It all started innocently enough. I was at one of my favorite nurseries. I was wandering around like I do when I spied a beautiful tree, it was smallish and covered with tiny white flowers. It was a dwarf Yoshino Ornamental Cherry tree and it had a twin! I get excited by stuff such as that. I almost let out a squeal and start to jump up and down but I contained myself long enough to purchase the trees and arrange for their delivery.
Now I had to figure out where to plant them. I have a habit of falling in love at the nursery and bringing home plants I have no room for. So far it has all worked out, I’ve always found a home for them, but trees are special. You can’t just stick them anywhere and expect them to thrive. But that’s what I did. Right where an old sick one once stood about a year ago.
I guess I thought the tree and I where above such practical nonsense as compaction and nutrient depletion and for a while it seemed that we were.
I was so proud of the trees, they were the first in the neighborhood to bloom. People would stop and gaze appreciatively at them as the passed by. I too, would gaze appreciatively at them and that is what I was doing when I noticed the first brownish leaf. It was just one. I didn’t worry. Then more brown leaves started to appear. I scoured gardening books like I do and found the answer. It was a harmless fungus and it would be O.K. in time. We’d had an unusually wet spring so that made sense to me.
The other healthier tree grew and produced green glossy leaves, While its ugly twin stood there looking sick and depressed. I tried to fed it, I tried some old gardening tricks, to no avail. In the back of my mind, I knew what was wrong, I hoped that everything would turn around.
Now I would avoid the tree like the plague, I couldn’t stand the sight of it. The sight of my failure, for all to see. Where once the tree invoked pleasure in the people walking by. Now people shook their heads and made faces of disgust as they walked by.
Does having a dying tree in my yard make me a bad person? I know people want to ask what I did to the poor thing? I feel so embarrassed. I”ve almost cut it down several times, it small enough for me to do by myself. Something in me won’t let me do it. Maybe I’m holding out hope for the underdog, which I have a habit of doing.
I just can’t give up on this poor wretched tree. So I’m babying it and watering it and even talking to it. It is probably a lost cause but I’m crossing my fingers and hoping for the best. Please, wish us luck…