Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Tree with 9 Lives

Remember the post back in May about the tree we planted for earth day?  Well the little Silky Dogwood was doing just fine until I started meddling with it.  About a month back I was cutting the grass and I decided to weed around the screen that we put around the tree sapling.  So, I removed the screen and proceeded to trim around it.  As I was doing trimming around it no sooner was I thinking, "I really need to be careful not to wack it", when sure enough - wack!  Little tree sapling was no more.

I was so angry for doing that I yelled and stomped around the yard a bit thinking...what am I going to tell Matt?  This is his tree that he brought home from school for us to plant, and here I am having to fuss with it.  Thoughts started running through my head such as going out to the nursery and replacing it without him knowing to just sticking it back in the ground and seeing what happened rushed through my mind.  After a few minutes of looking at the little tree, I walked away from the scene of the crime with my head hung low.

Finally, I brought the evidence into the house and set it on the kitchen counter.  I was not really sure what I was going to do about it, but I knew I couldn't just throw it away.  After a while, I thought, I'll just put it in a cup of water and set it on the window sill like I do any other cutting.  Who knows, maybe it will hang in there a bit?  I then went back outside and cleaned up the other half of the sapling by cleaning off the tip where it was wacked off.  I watered it and put the cage around it again just pretending that nothing ever happened.

That evening, I realized that I had to tell Matt about the accident.  I told him that maybe we could go out and replace it with the very same type of dogwood.  He responded that this was a "special tree that his teacher bought for him."  Ouch...that hurt.

And so we waited....

About a week or two later, when I was cutting the grass again, I glanced down at the little tree (twig sticking out of the ground) to find that..what?...was there some new growth on it?!  Do my eyes deceive me?  I stopped the mower to take a closer look, and sure, two, three little buds forcing their way through the remains of the sapling.  A smile came over me and I was glad to tell Matt the news.

Meanwhile, back in the kitchen, the other half of the sapling remain in the cup on the window sill.  I was expecting leaves to start curling up and dropping one by one, but yet, it never happened.  There is was, perched on the sill looking just as it did the day I attacked it with the trimmer....but wait...was that a new bud starting to grow at the tip? couldn't be.

A few days later I noticed that the water in the cup was getting low, so I decided to fill it up a bit, after all, if it wasn't giving up, then I sure wasn't going to either.  As I put the cup under the faucet, I noticed what looked like new roots forming at the base of the sapling.  Upon closer inspection, it was indeed 2 or three new roots emerging from it!  I couldn't believe it!  I mean, I can understand the half outside re-growing as it was still alive with it's young root system in place, but sticking a "twig" in a cup of water?  No way!  But sure enough it was still growing.  Here I thought I had killed Matt's Earth Day tree that he had brought home from school only to find that I have created two new trees.  I was and am ecstatic and couldn't wait to tell Matt the news.

So this story has a happy ending and a lesson learned for me as well.   I can't help but think of Mr. Miyagi from the Karate Kid saying, "tree have strong root".  And this little tree does indeed.

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