Sunday, April 22, 2007

Leafing Out

I love this first hint of spring, when the leaves unfurl.

When we moved into Our Humble O-Bode, the previous owner had stacked firewood alongside the deck in the back yard, where an opportunistic maple sapling had taken root. Over the summer it grew to be almost six feet tall.

There are precious few trees growing in our yard: A flowering crab, a few lilacs, a hawthorn. All decorative. No shade trees to speak of. The maple's base is practically under the deck. Its trunk grows up around the rail of the deck in a wicked dog-leg. I hate to discourage anything as determined as that.

I planned to dig it out and transplant it last fall, but getting under the deck to excavate a root ball turned out to be impossible, and I resigned myself to cutting it down. But not right away. In the spring, I told myself.

I couldn't cut it down this spring.

It's not bothering anybody. It's not undermining the foundations of the deck, or muscling aside the woodwork. When it does, I figure I can prune it back. If it ever overwhelms the deck or encroaches on the house, then I'll have to get out the axe, but it's not a problem now, and maybe in a year or two it'll be big enough to give us a little shade over the deck for a couple summers. So I let it grow.

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