Free Range Tree


Daniel and I made the trek to Rockford, in search of trees.  We have a tree in our yard, but since it isn’t quite as tall as our bushes, it doesn’t count.  We stopped at Ack Ack Nursery to see what they had for sale that met all of our arboreal criteria.  The tree had to be taller than we were.  It had to be big enough to support the weight of the occasional bird.  Most importantly, we needed a tree that couldn’t escape.

I’m a fan of free range.  I like when chickens and cows get to run around before I eat them.  I wish we had free range ground squirrels.  However, I want my bushes and trees to stay in the yard.  Meka and I bought a blackberry bush a few years ago and planted it in the back corner next to the fence.  It never grew well there.  It was on top of the swale between the yards; water wouldn’t stay there long.  The fence kept it in permanent shade, but didn’t seem to stop the wind very much.  When the bush wasn’t being blown over or dehydrated, rabbits would come to feed.

“We should put some rabbit fencing up,” said Meka on more than one occasion.  We never did though.  The rabbits ate the berries, the leaves and eventually reduced the entire bush down to a single woody stick poking out of the grass.  I thought that was the end of that.

A few months later, I noticed a weed growing up next to the cable junction box on the other side of the fence.  The ground is muddy and the gap is too narrow for me to mow there.  The weed grew taller and taller.  One day I noticed it was covered in flowers.  Soon after that, it was covered in blackberries.   I stood in the corner in the mud, promising this time things would be different.  However, the blackberry bush has made no sign of moving back.  I think it’s moved on and it was time for us to do the same.

I took Daniel with me to the nursery.  We picked out a locust tree from the “scratch and dent” aisle.  Daniel gave it a hug when I bought it.  The tree will be delivered by flat bed truck.  There will be no harrowing journey sticking out of the trunk like a rectal thermometer.  The tree will be planted by professionals and Daniel promised it will be watered faithfully.  I think it will like living with us in our yard.

But to be on the safe side, we’re getting the fence fixed before the tree shows up.

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