Adopted trees take on personalities

Adopted trees take on personalities

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In 2015, my eldest son, Nathanial, decided to buy a giant sequoia tree and some redwood seeds. He claimed that some had survived in Wisconsin. He was pumped. The little twig was named Steve after Steve the hedge in the movie, Over the Hedge.

Unfortunately, the instructions were lost, some bad advice followed, and poor Steve was pronounced dead in the spring. To make things worse, I accidentally crushed tiny Steva, the only surviving redwood, when I took her protective case off to admire her fragile self. Everyone was sad that the trees were gone.

Nathanial, however, wasn’t too discouraged. He went online shortly after dissecting Steve to see if he was truly dead, and ordered five more trees. It may seem harsh that Steve was pitched on the burn pile since we really did love Steve, but really now, he was a very tiny tree.

So one day, a long box was delivered to my door. Inside were Katniss Evergreen, a dawn redwood; Swifty T, a coast redwood; Dave, a bald cypress; Spruce Willis, a Montezuma cypress; and Steve 2.0, a giant sequoia. Each was named after a movie character or celebrity. On April 29, 2016, at 7:30 p.m., via Skype, together, we planted them in their first pots.

One must consider the largest may grow to 379 feet if it survives, the shortest, 120 feet. The kids take great delight in envisioning their trees being seen from miles away. I, however, don’t want them wrecking my septic field or falling on my house so believe they need to be planted permanently in a large field. Not that I’ll be alive when they get that tall, but I still don’t want to be responsible for someone’s injury or death.
Naming the trees has caused us to feel like they are actual members of the family. We talk to them, greet them in the morning, and transfer human traits to them (ie: look Dave is waving at us).

The trees were re-potted on Labor Day.

They grew a lot this summer. Over Labor Day, Nathanial re-potted them into five gallon buckets. Believe me, they are heavy! I get a workout hauling them to safety in inclement weather. Maybe my arm muscles will benefit? Either way, I can’t let my son’s trees die. I’ve already been drenched in a downpour saving them. Until he has property of his own, I have to oversee their care, I guess. The only payment I get is their undying devotion.

Steve 2.0 is so cute. Dave loves waving at folks. Katniss Evergreen looks elegant with her flowing branches and leaves. Swifty T leans. Spruce Willis looks tired.

Somehow in the instructions where it says to keep your tree happy, we’ve transferred some of our affections for a certain person over to his trees. How else do you explain this? Until 2015, I didn’t realize I was such a tree hugger. I guess it’s time to ‘fess up. How about you—are you attached to any trees?

The trees when we planted them in April 2016.

4 Replies to “Adopted trees take on personalities”

  1. Love the names for the trees, and enjoyed the story. Hope they all grow big and tall and strong.
    We had an oak tree in our back yard when our kids were growing up. The scars that formed where branches were taken off looked very much like eyes…and of course they faced the game room where the kids had sleepovers! Kinda creepy for some kids.

  2. I hope your trees will grow proud and strong. When we built the house we now live in in late 1999, we had to have many oak trees taken down to make room for the home. One tree that still remains (but is now dying from the inside out) had a very unusual bark formation that quite obviously to me, looked exactly like a horse’s head. Low and behold, it was just 2 1/2 years late, that wonder of wonders, I bought my very first (and very last) horse. Comparing the pictures I had of him with the “horse” on my oak tree, they were exact likenesses, which I promptly pointed out to everyone who came over. The fact that this tree is now dying, and splits have occurred where I used to see my “horse”…is not lost on me…as my mid-30 year old Scotty is struggling with the usual old-age problems and I know I need to count every day that I have left with him as a blessing.

    1. What a touching comparison with Scotty. When the tree comes down, could you save the part that reminds you of Scotty? It is sad to think of your good horse declining. You’ve had many good years together, and you are right, what a blessing it is each day you get to spend with each other.

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