The tree that should not be

  • Blog Post by: $author
  • June 5, 2014 - 8:40 AM

This is a story about a tree that should not be. 

Twenty-some years ago when I planted my asparagus patch, there was a tiny little bush growing in the area that looked interesting.  I thought it was a nice backdrop, so I let it go.  Eventually, it got bigger and my husband trimmed it as topiary and it lived well.  I was a novice gardener; I didn’t know what it was – and I didn’t care.  It had berries, the leaves were nice and it took abuse.

Well, education stepped in and I found out that it was a buckthorn.  So I figured I better do something about this.  The first two years I did my best to pull off all the berries so the invasive plant would not be spread by birds.  Then there was a big “anti-buckthorn” thing going on in my city and I figured as a past Garden Council President, I better yank the tree.

By this time, it was about 8 feet tall so it required a chainsaw and big shovel.  I didn’t want to disturb my asparagus patch too much so I judiciously trimmed roots.

Go figure, the plant kept coming up.  So I hand painted an aggressive weed killer on the leaves of the upcoming buckthorn shoots. Fast forward, the roots rotted, the area was flat, but something else ‘woody’ was growing.  I let it go.  The area needed a little something besides a flat asparagus patch all Winter and Spring.

Something tree-like appeared.  It seemed to have a fruit-like bark, a nice spring bloom and so we twisted

the trunk for some interest.  Fast forward again.  Thorns appear, still trying to determine the tree type.  Next year, a smooth green walnut sized something appears… fast forward next year.  The green things appear again, but in July start to blush and get soft.

I look in my books, what the…. Low and behold, this is a plum tree.  So, adventurous as I am --  I pop one of these fruits in my mouth.  Delicious!

Now this spring I’m enjoying the multitude of flowers and imagine each of those smooth green walnuts as a plum ready for the breakfast table!

Have you ever had a surprise treat in your garden?  Flowers, fruits, animals? 

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