This is a first: I’m officially on tree watch.
Conditions are favorable for, as it has every year, our prettiest backyard tree to start budding / leafing out. Last summer we noticed a few dead limbs and my glass-half-empty husband said he thinks the tree is dead.
I prefer a more optimistic outlook and am wrapping my limbs around the notion that it’s simply a late bloomer.
But it’s an ash. And I’m hearing bad stories about the ash bore that is destroying these beautiful trees. I’ve heard them for a while, actually, but hoped the disease would pass us over.
And speaking of beautiful trees, the Bradford Pear is apparently a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Our perfectly shaped, huge Bradford Pear bailed on us five years ago. An unremarkable summer storm blew through one day and the crash I heard was the tree going down, and our wallet emptying to the tune of about $400 to get it out of there. Ouch!
Meanwhile, its front-yard neighbor, a redbud, was on life support and two years later, we had it put down. The front yard looked so vacant.
Almost two years ago, we had a professional dig out the underground stumps that apparently go all the way to China, and replace the departed trees with white maples. At least they appear to be leafing out, although they lost their leaves rather prematurely last August and I thought they, too, were on death row. Our tree man had a look in the fall and thought they were fine.
What’s up with all the tree issues? I grew up on a farm and our landscape was surrounded by beautiful maple, poplar, walnut and other trees that had zero issues. Approaching 60 years later, those same trees that were large and lovely then remain large and lovely now out there at Route 1, Brownsville.
Apparently planting Bradford Pears were quick fixes for providing full sized trees in suburban neighborhoods – like ours, but when grown cannot support their own weight. And the ash bore? Well, who knew 18 years ago when I planted the fast-growing twig.
So, the watch is on. The ash may be doomed, but I’m hoping to get another summer out of it. Maybe I’m ash-king too much.
At least we know a tree guy. Perhaps we should have him on retainer. He’s probably awfully busy these days.