Wednesday, April 18, 2007

I planted a tree

The first book I ever read on my own as a child was The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss.

My mother let me pick out any book I wanted and for some unknown reason, I picked out The Carrot Seed... a yellow book with a little boy on the cover dropping his little carrot seed into the ground. Maybe I picked the book out, because the little boy looked similar to another book I enjoyed called Harold and the Purple Crayon.

The Carrot Seed is a story of a little boy who plants a carrot seed, despite his mother, his father, and his big brother repeatedly telling him every single day, "I'm afraid it won't come up."

But everyday, he watered and weeded it. And his care, patience, and unshakable belief are rewarded when, one day, up pops the tall leafy green part of the carrot above his head. The final picture shows him wheeling away a huge, dark orange carrot— it has come up "just as he knew it would."

Over the weekend, I actually planted two trees. it was such a spontaneous and major act of commitment to do.

On Saturday afternoon, my brother had three chinese pistache trees growing between the sidewalk and the street of his home and he was pullin' them up to plant maples.

"Ya want 'em?".
"My mom, the tree lover, gasped, "Whaat?! Are you crazy!? Your naked yard needs trees! GET them!!"

So I got them home and quickly flipped through my Sunset magazines hoping to find a backyard that was shaped exactly like mine so I could copy the exact location where they planted their trees. No such luck. I had to actually make a decision. I didn't think I could do it. But I did.

And now they are planted. The photo above shows one of them. It's the prettier of the two I planted since it has some leaves.

About an hour ago, I hammered down the steaks and tied twine around them and the tree to secure them from the strong winds we are having and before long, I will have a canopy of shade in the summer.

Or not.

Someone said to me yesterday, "You didn't plant them in grass did you? Then it won't come up."

Another said, "Make sure you create a ring around the roots so you can dribble water in there twenty minutes a day for two weeks. Otherwise, it won't come up."

"Do you have good organic mulch around it? And those types of trees can't drink just regular city water ya know..." replied another shaking her head feeling sorry for me, when I looked at her bewildered.

I can't help but notice all the happy wild trees that are growing just fine, but I am like a worried mother. Going out there, and watering them with my city water and talking to them and seeing if there is any new growth to the slim tiny twig branches.

Maybe they're right. Maybe my trees won't live. But. They also could grow into fine adult trees. For now I'm doing the best I can without a lot of know-how. (Google isn't helping me much in tree planting). But... I'll keep you posted whether or not... my lovely two trees... will ever grow up. And they just might do that.

Just as I knew it would.


danny said...

Hi Shawn! I read that book toooo! In the first grade or whatever...I remember we had a garden in the house I first lived San Jose, and my dad and me planted all kinds of vegetables...and carrots.
I think your trees will be fine...the soil where you live is so rich. The surrounding grass may hog some of the water, so you may wanna give them a little extra in the outer areas as they get bigger...well, I'm not a tree expert, but it seems to make sense...and I'm sure they feel your love! :o)

Doodlestreet said...

You know what works? Stand outside by your tree, close your eyes, and say, "I believe...I believe...I believe..".




Umm...okay, maybe not. You don't really want your neighbors to see that.
I bet your two twins will be just fine. Just fine. After all, they've been growing down there in that neck of the woods for awhile now...and you watered them...and set them in a strong foundation of dirt...and did it with patience, love and care. Hec, anything would grow in those conditions!

When I lived up north, you know how I planted wildflowers in my yard? I would go out when it was windy, open up the pack and throw the seeds into the wind! Whatever grew, was meant to be, and what didn't, didn't, and it was okay. You should have seen my yard! Wild flowers in a WILD YARD!

Monica said...

I bet your trees will grow up just fine! I bet they know that they're in a happy place and will be happy and thrive. Keep us posted!

Rayne said...

My stepfather is Mr. Garden. He does everything by the book. Digs the proper size hole, used the proper food, water, time, sacrifices the right species of goat, okay, maybe not that far. To be fair, he does grow some beautiful veggies, fruits, etc.
My mother on the other hand is Ms. Speedy. Get it done and get it done now. She wanted a pear tree, he kept fussing about how it would take so much of this and so much of that and just the right weather...
My mom got sick of waiting, went out, bought the tree, dug a hole, stuck it in and watered it.
My Stepfather went on about how it was dead already because the roots weren't completely buried and she didn't put the right who-knows-what in the hole first and so on and so forth.
10 years later it's a gorgeous tree and has the most wonderful fruit.
Just do what you feel is right with the tree. If it's a healthy tree, it'll grow.
You are right, what about all of the trees that grow perfectly fine in the wild.
If we didn't pull up the seedlings we have growing in our yard all the time we'd have our own little forest. Which I wouldn't mind but our lot is just a few inches larger than a postage stamp and can't handle more trees than the ones we already have.
Still, I do feel so guilty when I have to pull them up.