Thursday, July 06, 2006

Trees young and old…

Three years ago, our home and property underwent a huge change. We had over a half acre of old woods, meaning some of the trees were 50 years old and up. Did you notice the “had”? On this property we lived in a trailer built in 1977. It reached its lifespan limit and space limit with five occupants. So we chose to put in a house. I gave up my trees, but to this day still feel sick over some of it. More was cleared than we ever meant because some of the 80 to 100 foot tall trees knocked out many others when they fell. Husband was quite pleased with the huge expanse of flat, perfect grass. I hate grass. No offense, the green is pretty, but it needs weekly mowing and it really offers no real interest or benefits that I can tell.

Last week, my creative side got the best of me again and for some crazy reason I started digging holes in the boring grass, peeling it off the old woodland soil. Funny how many saplings my daughters and I found in the remaining, slowly recovering woods. We added 30 feet to the existing woodline, a bird feeder, hostas, azaleas, some old stumps. And we’ve spent more time in that little area surrounded by saplings and things we managed to drag from the brush piles than we have anywhere else lately. We have a small “marshmallow roasting fire pit” some logs to sit on, a swing too. We have part of our “old” path and old woods back after a hand saw and some hard work dragging broken and discarded tree tops out of the way.

I’ve heard from men that I’m just creating a weed area because trees take forever to grow and that I might see them before I’m beyond old. See, apparently I mustn’t know much, despite the fact I speak words like hawthorn, hornbeam, beech, ash, and tell them growth rates and average mature heights. Maples and cherry they know because those trees are worth the most money to the loggers around here. What bothers me about the men telling me “trees take a long time to grow” is the fact I watch them knock down trees as if they turn 50 years old over night. Heck, if we didn’t plant trees just because they take forever to grow, would there be any left? As for weeds, is it possible these men haven’t heard about mulch? Might explain why none has found its way into husband’s truck and into my yard yet this year.

I realize I have a lot of years to go before my woods looks “old” again. But that’s why I’ve got a few locus mixed in the bunch with some ash, quaking aspens, maples. All faster growing types. Some call those trees “weeds” of the tree species. That’s just fine with me. All I’m looking for is more shade and less grass to mow by the time I’m old. :)

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