Twenty years ago, our first spring in our new-to-us home, Donny ordered some trees from the Arbor Day Foundation. I don’t recall how he heard of it, but as new property owners, we got a lot of junk mail and catalogs.
These days it’s all on-line; you simply put in your zip code so they determine your hardiness zone, and select from different packages: firs, flowering, Autumn classics, to name a few. And, soon, providing it is an appropriate time of year to plant them, 10 free trees will arrive in your mailbox when you become a member of their foundation.
If you are now wondering how big a postal box you need, worry not, these are tiny saplings. We still laugh about our mailbox trees. In fact, I think he may have done this for a few springs as he actually took a strip of land from the previous owner’s defunct garden and made it into a nursery area. When the trees got bigger, and my interest in expanding Little Garden into Big took over the space, he planted them out in the yard.
As we sat out enjoying a bonfire last weekend, we recounted which of the trees in our yard were from this fledgling attempt at landscaping and I was amazed at what had survived and how large they now are. In fact, he just recently moved an unknown variety – what we believe is a pear – in front of my daffodil section, next to a large pine that also came via post.
So, while visiting my father-in-law this afternoon, we got talking about some trees he has had to take down in his yard and one he fears will need to come down soon, pointing out a very large maple with a girth of at least 10′ in diameter.
Doubting the answer, I asked him if he had put the tree in originally only to be stunned to find that every tree in their yard, including some in the yards of neighbors had been picked up in much the same fashion through a local extension some 50 years ago. He went on to show my where he had had a nursery bed to grow saplings that were about a foot tall until he could plant them out.
I was fascinated to hear this story as Donny had never told me and I am certain he never told his father he did the same thing. Apples surely don’t fall far from their trees.
Happy Father’s Day!