I prepped a new garden yesterday. It felt good getting out in the yard, though my knees and back may argue that point. The site used to host a teenage mutant ninja weeping cherry tree which I finally put out of our misery two weeks ago. I left a good-sized stump, figuring it would make a nice centerpiece. One of our gargoyles (yes we have more than one gargoyle) finds it quite comfy.
We put the tree in ten to twelve years ago. We did quite a bit of landscaping at the time – stone retaining walls, patio, new shrubs – that sort of thing. Our yard is loaded with mature trees, so there is very little sunny area left for a garden. There was one little spot, just off the walkway to the neighbor’s house, that I thought we should preserve for a vegetable patch. But my wife, Cyndi, had her heart set on a weeping cherry tree, and that spot was just about the only available one left to us. So I gave up on my vegetable plot and we bought a weeping cherry to put there instead.
We looked at a local nursery and were shocked at the price. So we went to a national chain big box store (of the hardware persuasion) and were pleased to find one about half that price in their garden area. We brought it home and our landscaping contractor planted it for us.
It soon became apparent that there was something not quite right about this particular weeping cherry. In the springtime it did present lots of lovely pink flowers on gracefully cascading boughs, at least on the lower half. On the upper half of the tree, however, the branches went straight up and the flowers were white. The old adage “you get what you pay for” quickly came to mind. Our cut rate weeping cherry was the victim of a bad graft.
I spent years cutting out what I could of the top, but I simply could not keep up with it. All that cutting must have opened the tree up to insects and disease, for it was not long before cankers began to from on the trunk and it became an annual smorgasbord for bag worms.
After fighting it for more than ten years we finally had enough of it. My wife agreed, it was time for Mr. Cherry to go.
It took me several days, and a couple of loads of Yard Waste to eliminate the tree, but it is finally gone. And in it’s place is a nice little sunny spot in the yard. I can finally have my vegetable plot.
Tomatoes, cucumbers, and zucchini.
See. Good things do come to those who wait.
© 2012 by J. M. Strother, all rights reserved. Photos by J. M. Strother.