Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tipu Tree

One of the trees that I got from DWP last year was a Tipuana tipu. I planted it in my front yard imaging the beautiful umbrella like canopy that it would grow into to shade the front patio. It's first year in the ground it seemed to be bidding it's time and didn't grow much. I liked to believe that it was spending all of its energy growing strong roots and that it would focus on growing branches when it was ready.

This is what it looked like at the beginning of spring:

This is a crappy picture that I took with my phone as I left one morning for work. For some reason I was always happy to see this tree.

At the time it had three little branches and some tattered leaves left over from last year. Over the course of a week it lost all of it's remaining leaves and pushed out a flurry of new growth. It seemed that it was well on it's way towards fulfilling my expectations of a beautiful, arching shade giver.

It grew so fast that the canopy started to weigh the tree down and it started to lean towards the house. I decided to tie it back and train it to grow in the opposite direction. This would give it a little more room and would require less pruning in the long run. I didn't want it to be growing right on top of the house or for it's future branches to block the path to the rest of the yard.

I tied it down to the Solandra that grows next to it and figured that it would only take a couple weeks to get used to it's new orientation. What I wasn't expecting was the freak wind storm the next day. The wind was so strong that it snapped the whole top of the tree off. All of the new growth was gone and what was left couldn't even be called a tree. It was more of a stick poking out of the ground.

Here's the stump:

I actually cried. Not just out of sadness but out of anger at my own stupidity. Maybe if I'd tied it lower there would have been enough flex in the trunk to bear the wind. Maybe if I'd been a little more patient I could have let the tree get a little bigger or trained it more slowly. I guess we learn more from our failures than our successes. I won't be making this mistake again.

Luckily the tree is giving me another chance. It has already sent out about ten new branches to compensate for my blunder.

I'm getting the message that the tree won't be rushed. It's going to grow the way it has to grow and too much meddling from me is only going to muck things up.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

New Chicks V.5

I used to think that chicks were the cutest thing ever, but now I think that chicks with a mother hen are the cutest thing ever.

She's teaching them the all important skill of scratching in the dirt.