Vertical Habitats

December 20, 2010

Only one tree fell during the weekend’s storm. I’m crossing my fingers that the trees throughout our property will stay grounded, limbs in tact, during the remainder of this, and other winter tempests. I hate the thought of losing any of my husband’s trees. They are, after all, earth’s great big, green friends, and ours.

Joe is the one who designed, bought, and planted (with our sons’ help and mine) more than one thousand trees. Over the years, we’ve watched them grow from seedlings and five-gallon-sized adolescents into maturity. My husband has fussed over their need for water, weeding, staking, and pruning. A great deal of forethought and labor has gone into the continued nurturing of Joe’s trees.

We’ve received enormous pleasure from his vertical habitats. The trees have added value and beauty to our land, shaped a welcoming entrance to our home, purified the atmosphere, formed windbreaks and screens to hide junk piles and farm equipment, and provided quarters and refuges for critters.

We’ve lost several trees over the years. Seven weeping willows were removed, evergreens, birch, mulberry, locusts, cherries, and an orange tree. To this day, large voids remain where they once stood. When I squint, I can see their ghostly figures. Losing trees isn’t the end of the world. It’s the end of a big, beautiful, green friend. I can’t help feeling a tad sad when this happens.

This is one of the weeping willow trees we had to remove.



  1. Wind can wreck havoc with tree roots in soggy water saturated ground. I worry sometimes about my trees, but have never been unlucky enough to have one topple. Thank goodness for small favors, since I do love the wind!

    I have five redwoods surrounding my corner lot, and do love them. They are tall, sturdy & healthy.

    Nice article. bernadine


  2. P.S. I love weeping willows and always wanted one at my home, however, I understand their roots are not so friendly. bernadine


    • I love them too. Fortunately, we have the room to place them away from our house, lawn, and garden. They do require a lot of water. My first weeping willow was a house-warming gift from my grandma. I started my other willows from that one tree. At one time, I had twenty in pots. Some I gave away and planted the rest. I just wish I had marked the gifted tree. Now, I have no idea which one Grandma gave to me.


  3. I didn’t know you could propogate weeping willows. How delightful. I still wish I could have one, but I think I’ll just have to enjoy another gardener’s. How nice to have all those trees from your grandma.

    I always wanted to read a book, hidden behind the weeping willow’s branches. bernadine


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