Used Tree

We recycle a lot in my family and we’re not just talking paper and plastic.  Over the years, we’ve swapped baby clothes, furniture, even the occasional automobile.  When I was a kid, we gave our old kitchen table to one of my aunts.  She used it awhile and passed it along to another of my aunts.  Later, my grandma had it.  Finally, it came back to me when I was an adult.  While we’ve tried to recycle as much as we can through the family, generally we’ve limited it to indoor items.

I visited my mom a couple of weekends ago.  She moved to northern Michigan a few years back, leaving the suburbs for fourteen acres of woods.  As I was getting ready to head back home where some of our tallest “trees” are weeds we don’t have the heart to pluck out of the ground, my mom suggested I take one of her trees.  A lot of her trees are several stories high, but we looked around on the forest floor and found saplings growing here and there.  I liked a baby balsam, standing about two feet tall.  We dug it up, made a root ball for it out of a lawn bag and I drove it home in the back of our truck.

This past weekend I dug a hole in our backyard and planted the little evergreen in the corner.  I gave it about ten feet on all sides, just in case it manages to survive the shock of being dug up, driven 400 miles and planted by someone whose thumb is most definitely not green.  However, if it does work out, my mom says we can have a more saplings next time we visit. 

For now, I carefully placed the sod I dug up for the hole in our wheelbarrow and watered it to keep it alive.  I plan to drop it off at my dad’s house sometime soon to replace the holes in his lawn where he spilled undiluted weed killer earlier this year.



  1. Actually your Mom lives in “northern Michigan”
    (not “central Michigan”) on 14 acres (not 11),
    but I really did like this story about tree
    recycling. The tree you took was actually
    almost new and we hadn’t used it at all! Glad
    to hear the sod will be going to a good home.

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