Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I AM Silver Maple

DAY 266 (Year 2)

I found out that you, Neighbor's Tree were a 95 foot tall Silver Maple and were probably around 70 years old. You were deemed a hazard by the town because your roots were heaving the driveway. I will choose to believe you had just outgrown your space and you felt it time to move on.

A little more about you....excerpts from an article by the University of Florida IFAS Extension (Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences)...I AM SILVER MAPLE.

The Silver Maple has a vase shape and is a rapidly-growing, fairly weak-wooded tree which reaches a height of 80 to 100 feet with a 5 to 6 foot diameter trunk on a moist site. The tree is useful in wet areas, transplants easily and can grow where few others can. It should be saved for planting in wet areas or where nothing else will thrive.

Branches tend to droop, almost weep, forming a graceful canopy outline as it grows older. The bright yellow fall color can attract attention in early fall but you will pay the price with the abundant number of leaves to rake. To develop a stronger, more durable tree, prune so that major limbs remain smaller than half the diameter of the trunk.

Silver Maple can be a prolific seed producer giving rise to many volunteer trees. It often sends up sprouts from the trunk and branches producing an unkempt appearance. Branches often form poor attachments with trunk resulting in branch failure in old, mature specimens. Frequent pruning is required to develop a strong branch structure. Ice and snow loads can cause branch failure in younger trees. Like many other large trees, it will lift sidewalks if improperly located too close to sidewalks...It grows extremely fast so creates almost instant shade, making this a popular tree among homeowners throughout its hardiness range.

PS. One more reason to love Home Depot...I talked to John at the HD to find out how old this tree might have been...He was wonderful – knowledgeable and sympathetic to the emotion to the day! He affirmed my sadness (I hope he didn’t know that I had actually been CRYING – I have The Menopause) and was excited for my plans to plant a Silver Maple in my yard as a memorial. Talking with him pulled me to a more postive, less mournful place. He actually referred me to some other tree farms who would come and dig a 4 x 4 foot hole for me (John said this could save me some "a** busting work") – which makes me love HD even more! Less Crying. More Planting. That's the Power of the Home Depot Thank you John!

PPS. My Dad, John Kenneth Skarie, was almost 70 when he passed away in 1997 and was a tree lover. He lovingly cared for the big old elm tree that use to stand next to my childhood home - hung the rope swing with the old inside-out tire seat, cleared her leaves from the gutter during rainstorms and stood by her side the day she had to go back to her roots...Miss you Dad - meet you at the tree house!

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