My First Tree Experience
Pretty much everyone’s first tree experience has some embarrassing events. When I made the decision to plant a tree of my own, I had the ideal spot in mind. There was a gap between my house and my fence of about 5 feet. It was likely the least traveled area of my whole yard, and I thought it could use something to spice it up. Perhaps if I provided some lovely shade, it might become more used by my family. I created a little picnic paradise in the shade, where my family could go just to be with each other and nature.
I chose a nice apple tree. Even with the risk of apples falling on our heads, I believed it would be a treat to sit under the shade and munch on delicious homegrown apples. Simply the thought of this romantic, important activity was enough to make me drive my self to the nursery and purchase the first apple tree in sight. I didn’t understand enough about trees to look at the roots or any of the symptoms that it could be an unhealthy tree. I spent the essential amount of money and had the tree delivered right to my house.
I dug the hole right where I desired the tree. This took nearly the rest of the day. Holes are a simple thing to underestimate. It’s easy to say that a hole will certainly only take an hour or two, but once you really start digging it usually progresses a lot more slowly than you would have estimated. By the time I actually got the hole big enough to fit the ball of roots, I certainly did not feel like digging another few feet around the perimeter as most tree growing guides suggest. I was just set to place the tree. With the help of my neighbor, I lifted the tree across the backyard and dropped it into my hole. Then, it was time to fill in the hole.
I couldn’t have been happier once I loaded in that last shovel load of dirt. I was standing back to admire my work. That was when my 3-year-old daughter said something that crushed my spirits, and haunts me to this day. “Daddy, that tree stands up like grandpa!” My dad is a great man, and if she had compared any other aspect of the tree to him I would have regarded as it an honor. But sadly his back has been deteriorating lately, and he can’t stand up very straight. I noticed that my tree did indeed have a similarity to his posture.
Thinking this was an issue that the tree would naturally outgrow, I decided to abandon it for a while to see what happens. Every day I went out to check out on the progress of the tree; to see if it was any straighter than it was the day before. I daily had my spirits crushed when I saw that it had not increased at all. Not wanting to put forth the effort of taking away it from my yard, I decided to just forget about it. I never went over to that side of the house again and nearly pushed the tree from my mind. I made the decision that if any problem ever came about from leaving the tree there, I would pack up my furniture and flee the state. That’s how much I was embarrassed by my tree experience.
After about 3 years of totally ignoring that the tree ever existed, I was relaxing in my house one day and noticed a loud crash. I ran outside to see what the issue was, just to see that my tree had grown to such an uncontrollable size that it had taken out my gutter and part of my neighbor’s fence. I moved out of state within a week.