Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Planting Trees

I needed a break from an intense work-week today. So, Jon and I drove down the road to a native plant arboretum/nursery called Trees that Please in Tome. We had a few trees in mind, starting with shade trees (catalpas, golden rain trees, poplars) since we have not one tree on our 2-acre property yet(!), then fruit trees once we do some market analysis to figure out what might be in demand in 3-5 years, when the trees are mature.

And then, it was love at first sight....

When we walked into the arboretum, we were immediately struck by an enormous shade tree, about 30' tall, with delicate, fern-like leaves near the entrance to the greenhouse. When we asked what the tree was, they told us it was a New Mexico redwood, and it was only 12 years old. Imagine our surprise--redwoods in New Mexico! Turns out, they had a few more mature redwoods around the arboretum, each one more gorgeous than the next.

They then told us the story behind the trees: they're actually cuttings from the only two NM redwoods left standing in nature near El Paso, TX (Spanish colonists logged the area, once full of redwoods, to build their towns in the 1500-1700s). The founder of the arboretum was the one who found the lone trees over a decade ago, and he took cuttings to propogate them. They're now federally protected and the public can't even go to look at them.

We planted four trees in a row about 50 feet behind our house to create a private, shaded picnic area over time (another bonus to these trees: they grow very deep tap roots and thrive on high water tables like ours--no risk of the roots breaking up our house foundation).

They are simply gorgeous--I've never seen anything like them. We're so excited to have them, it's as if they're new members of our family. I never thought I could feel this way about a tree. Welcome, leafy friends!

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