Thursday, July 21, 2011

Of Weeds and Blessings

The Tallow Tree adventure took an interesting turn yesterday.

The tree trimmers from the Electric Company arrived to trim back the Tallow Tree from the electrical wires. Turned out this simply act uncovered a disaster lurking unawares at the top of our power pole. Unbeknownst to us or the power company, the wires at the top of the pole were bare. All the coating has been worn off leaving the wires exposed and dangerous. In an electrical storm or other cause of a power surge, our house would be damaged severely. There was no reason for the power company to come look at the wires since there was no loss of service. There was no reason for us to think there was a problem. No reason whatsoever for anyone to examine the powerlines.

Except for a nuisance weed tree.

That tree for all that it was where it wasn't wanted, was a blessing in disguise. Isn't that the way of many blessings? Coming in the guise of trouble so we can easily miss it if we are looking. I guess that is why folks talk about the importance of "being in the moment" or "being present" helps us see the blessings in the midst of the weeds of life.

That Tallow Tree was hiding a few other secrets, too. A volunteer pecan tree and a bunch of Wild Cherry Trees. How did we not see these? Well, I guess they were hidden in plain sight. The pecan, already about six inches in diameter, was tucked behind the tallow and surrounded by the cherry trees. The cherry trees (at this point more "bush" than tree) were just so much background noise until the tallow was gone. The nice tree trimming crew, who also did more than just top off the tallow--they cut it to the ground for us, identified the wild cherry trees, thus elevating them from "background noise" to foreground fortuitous find.

Prunus serotina, Wild Cherry Tree (aka Wild Black Cherry)

Wild Cherry Trees are good for several somethings, it seems. A quick google search revealed that the bark has medicinal uses and the fruit (if one can beat the birds to it) makes a tasty jelly. The one potential problem is they may get very large. They can get upwards of 80 feet but one university site says such heights are unlikely in the piedmont and coastal regions of North Carolina. I plan to keep these pruned so they stay more on the bush-to-small-tree side of their potential.

The pecan tree they surround, however, does not have quite so bright a future. It is just too close to the power pole and, in fact, is heading straight for the powerline. It will, alas, have to go. But, on the upside, there are several other volunteer pecans and an oak that are small enough for repositioning to better spots.

While I am thrilled to be able to encourage the grown of several pecan and one oak tree in my backyard (which desperately needs tall shade trees), it does mean relocating the orchard. Now, the fruit trees I had planned to put back there will have to go in the garden area with the blueberries and fig...or somewhere...this means also moving the grape and kiwi we go again...better now than when the trees are in the ground!

Best laid plans of mice and men and journeys that never quite "get there".....

No comments:

Post a Comment