Sow There! Black-hole sun, here it comes, July 5, 2019

Black-hole sun, here it comes | Sow There!

  • I made the mistake of peeking out of my (now sunny) kitchen window to watch the work on the mulberry tree.
PUBLISHED: July 5, 2019 at 10:00 am | UPDATED: July 5, 2019 at 10:09 am

“Sun, sun, sun … here it comes.”

My brain was abuzz with Beatles tunes last weekend after seeing the flick “Yesterday.”

Monday morning there was a loud knock on the front door. The visitor was one of four men standing in my driveway. They wore chartreuse vests, and wanted me to move my car. I padded out there in my bathrobe.

Tree trimming.

Many times in life, we must bravely face decisions that are not our own and are forced to make way for the chainsaws placed in front of you.

I decided to accept the fate of the trees.

Perhaps as an exercise in self-soothing, I decided I really did hate those trees.

The bad tree list

They weren’t trees, really. They were weeds. Nobody planted them. They began to grow one day, and continued unchecked. Years passed and they became part of the fabric of my yard, eventually creating a green shroud for my cottage in the Avenues.

Weed trees bear no fruit, unless it is messy and tasteless. The blossoms are far from lovely.  People keep them around because they provide the most basic services a tree can provide: Shade.

As for my particular trees, they cast down plant detritus most seasons of the year.

Here’s the quick facts (in no way reflective of actual horticultural facts):

·      Loquat: (Extremely “lo” on the hierarchy of desirable trees). Leaves fall onto the ground like tough, crunchy melba toast. Fruit is useless. Squirrels eat a bite of bland fruit, then pelt the remainder on the hood of my car. Fruit eats paint on my car. Seedlings sprout from nearly every potted plant.

Provided shade to bedroom window.

·      English Ivy: A tangle of deep green vines obscuring the loquat, roof line and sidewalk. If left undisturbed, the ivy would have gladly grown straight through the front door. Seedlings discovered in nearly every potted plant.

Provided shade to bedroom window.

·      Mimosa: (In my case) menacingly tall with a large crack in the trunk. Dead branches dangled over the car. Three seasons of yard garbage. Seasonal downpour of tawny-colored fuzz. Fall seed pods clogged the rain gutters. New trees volunteer easily. Seedlings in nearly every potted plant.

Provided shade to half the roof.

• Privet. Mounds of black seed balls that look like oversized clusters of black pepper. Seedlings in every pot. Seedlings in vegetable raised bed. Purple bird poop on hood of car. Purple bird poop eats paint on car.

Shaded my living room window.

• Mulberry: Robust and fruitless. Trunk size: two feet in dimeter. Limb size: one foot in diameter. Brutish nature sometimes results in dents in the rain gutter.

Shaded kitchen window, shed and back portion of house.

I had to leave town the second day of the chainsaw chorus. The tree crew was amazing, roping off giant limbs as if workers were auditioning for Cirque de Soleil.

When I returned, piles of logs, cut into four-foot sections, create an entirely unattractive perimeter to my soon-to-be sun-baked yard.

It’s done. I accept it. I will need to find new options for about 70 plants accustomed to shade. I will survive.

Sun, sun, sun, here it comes.


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