The sun is shining, there is a light breeze, the temperature is 71 degrees F and the birds are singing. And I have a headcold, which is why this post (overdue, I know) is being written in the middle of such a wonderful day.
In one of the last posts, I counseled against buying trees that are readily seen on practically every other corner in most towns and cities in the mid-USA. In addition to the argument that it can be nice to be seeing something you don’t see every day, there is the additional benefit of the advantages of diversity. Now, this is not a screed of PC preachings; plant diversity is, put plainly and simply, a means of keeping it all going. Plant monocultures are practically doomed to failure in the long-run. The most obvious examples may be seen in the denuded streets of so many mid-American towns following the rampages of Dutch Elm disease and now being witnessed across most Great Lakes states in the wake of the Emerald Ash Beetle (spawn of Satan). On this very property, which has been named Ashgrove (aping the British habit of naming their properties – a charming and fun affectation, in my opinion), there is a line of mature ash trees forming the boundary of the property along what used to be US 35 (when it was two lanes) and THEY ARE ALL GOING TO HAVE TO COME DOWN. They are all infected with the beetle and are all dying. That’s nearly twenty trees! And I know of many other properties with far more! It will change the place enormously, both in appearance and the soil culture of the entire front section. It will no doubt be interesting to see what happens to the plants who have been growing within the shadows (and root zones) of these trees, but that is small consolation to the cost and inconvenience of having them removed. Think how much hardscape work I could pay for with that!!! I suppose a lifetime’s worth of firewood eases the sting a bit, but not much!
Well, so much for all that. I’ve blown my time for this post, so the suggested tree list will have to wait another week or so. In the meantime, enjoy the spring that is finally here. It wouldn’t hurt to consider where you think you want your new trees to go, remembering that the root systems with be at least double the mature width of the crowns. Plan accordingly and recall that there is no such thing as an overgrown plant – it did exactly what it was supposed to do. Some idiot simply put it in the wrong place!