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Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Hubris or Not

As part of our house's campaign to make us regret buying in a hurry, its foundation wall has been buckling, and a contractor will soon begin major work including excavation of much of our front yard. For several years, we have had two saplings -- one sickly evergreen and one alarmingly healthy maple -- growing out of the gravel near the house. My two daughters have each designated one of these little trees as their own. When the excavation happens, the trees would be ploughed up in minutes. So, despite a consistent orange thumb (isn't orange the opposite of green?) and no relevant experience, I'm transplanting trees.

I bought me a nice little shovel, the right size for short folks. I already had a spade and a spade-sized raking thing. I read an online article or two about transplanting trees, which suggested that the sickly evergreen is probably doomed anyhow. I spent much of a warm afternoon digging, trying to cut unidentified roots to make holes big enough, tugging at roots until they came loose and sent me sprawling, etc. So far, I've transplanted the evergreen, which I hope can survive being planted at a slant reminiscent of a certain famous leaning tower. The far taller maple sapling is today's project. (Today's going to be even warmer.)

If I had to bet, I'd probably bet against either tree making it. I know I'm not putting in enough learning time to maximize their chances. So am I just begging the universe to swat me down by giving this such a casual (if exhausting) try? On the other hand, if I begged off on the grounds that I don't have time to do it right, would that be prudence, or laziness and/or cowardice?

Digging has been kind of fun, anyway.

Wish the little trees luck.


Kathy said...

Good luck, little trees! My only advice is to dig a big hole, put in some good Supersoil or equivalent to cushion the roots, and water a lot, at least for the first couple of weeks.

Heidi said...

Hey, Kathy took what I was going to type.

The opposite of green is red.

Unless you're in Ireland. Then the opposite of Green (Catholic) and Orange (Protestant), I am told.