Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Forsythia Bushes and Robins

I had time to kill at work and was thinking about the possibility that it might actually be spring soon (ha, ha) and how much I love it when things start to grow and come alive. This, as I've stated before, should be the New Year's time. I remember sitting on our porch in Deseret when spring hit and the life could be felt in the air - tractors going up and down the road, gardens being planted and lawns starting to green up. I basked in it. I love forsythia bushes for that reason. Like the robin's red breast, they're one of the first color splashes signifying an awakening of life. Yes, Alan, I would love a forsythia bush. And so I was looking on-line at various bushes and trees and came across the instructions for planting/transplanting trees.

Did you know, young trees should be able to support their own weight? At first I hypothetically asked no one in particular, "Define 'young', please."

My mind's eye envisioned newborn horses and cows and other animals as they stumble around, trying to support their weight so quickly after being born and then I translated that image into a small, weak sapling being blown every which way in the wind.

An exception to a 'young' tree being able to support its own weight would be a 'young' tree that has been transplanted in preparation to grow in another area. Oftentimes these trees will need additional time to reestablish themselves and return to the stage they were at in the growth cycle before being moved.

Once a tree is planted, it will concentrate its energy on standing upright. (Don't we all???) If it is unable to do so on it's own, you may find you have to stake a tree, supporting it as it gains strength for itself. (I'm thinking here I'd just tie a good tight, sturdy knot of rope from the tree to the closest stable, secure, cemented-in-place object.) However, there were some more specific (and gentle) guidelines for supporting a growing tree. I've paraphrased some of what I learned:

1. Only stake the tree long enough for it to be able stand on its own. Sometimes re-staking may be necessary, especially if strong winds or extreme storms have effected the growing tree. (And, I suppose, if a mis-stake happens, fix it as quickly as possible) [I totally just made that one up in case you couldn't tell]

2. Stakes should not be too tight - there should be room for the tree to sway in the wind. The tree needs to maintain its flexibility so as not to snap in the wind.

3. Stakes should not be too loose - the tree should not rub against the stakes. Wearing off the bark in this manner allows dis-ease to occur and more concentrated care will need to be given in order to keep the tree thriving.

4. Stakes should be buried deep enough underground themselves so as to provide ample support.

Now all you have to do is remember that it takes time for newly planted trees to adjust to their new surroundings. They must be supported, watered, fertilized and tended to as needed. Each individual tree will vary as to the care and attention necessary to grow into a thriving, stable tree.

Well, after reading that information, I couldn't help but think how grateful I am that my Heavenly Father knew all this before I was a struggling sapling - heck, before I was even a seed. I'm so glad He put us in families for support - not too tight, not too loose - to help us gain strength for ourselves each time we find ourselves re-transplanted. I've sure found myself transplanted in areas I wasn't planning on when I was a little twig but Heavenly Father has never left me without what I needed to grow. He's put resources close by for watering, fertilization and, of couse, the Son's Light is always there to warm me up. My family is my life and I don't know what I would have done without their support. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly and easily we seem to trade places - sometimes I'm the tree and other times I'm a supporting stake. I certainly hope I'm planted deep enough to provide ample strength and stability to anyone who needs it at the time.

Maybe I'll get a forsythia bush and maybe I won't but I am content knowing I'm surrounded by the most beautifully diversified orchard I could ever hope for.

1 comment:

  1. Your Honor, I rest my case. My client is the best thinker and writer that I have ever known, or hope to know for that matter.

    May I also say, in her defense, that she has been in many strong winds and unfertilized ground in her lifetime, and has grown tall and straight in spite of it.