Feb 15, 2010

The Story of a Pine Tree

When we moved into our current home almost 17 years ago, the pine tree pictured on your left might have been 15 feet tall. To put this into perspective, this tree would have been 3-4 times the height of the white picket fence you can see at the bottom of the image on your left.

These days this pine tree is about 50 feet tall, and the tree regularly drains all groundwater within a 20 foot radius of its trunk. Any plants I would like to grow near this magnificent tree need extra water, especially in the months of July and August. I used to attribute the difficulty I had in getting plants to grow near the tree to acidity of the pine needles, but I have since learned that tall pine trees are quite the water siphoners.

This pine tree is home to all sorts of birds and squirrels, and rabbits sometimes burrow in the compost pile that I have created at the base. That is, until my dogs find them, and then the rabbits either dig a new hole (like an exposed acne scar on a supermodel's face) or find themselves victim to the latent carnivorous nature of my canine friends.

I regularly trim and prune this tree to keep its branches about eight feet high, and this also helps motorists whose view of the corner would be obscured by this tall tree. I figure that this also mimics the natural world this tree might have experienced if it grew in an area with antler-brandishing deer, moose, or elk.

I cannot imagine the way my yard would look without this pine tree, which has become a year-round fixture on my one-third acre of city land. I suspect that the tree will also outlive me, and perhaps one day someone will stare at this tree like I do and wonder about its history.


mud_rake said...

Yet, Mike, historical botanists record no such conifers growing natively in our neck of the woods. Rather, the trees all are deciduous. Not only that, but the Oak Openings upon which we rest, has been a selective, ecologically restrictive biome.

When non-native plants are introduced, they alter the stability of the biome and degrade it.

Nonetheless, your conifer is breath-taking.

Anonymous said...

that tree is not a pine tree. it is either a fir, spruce or Douglas fir. I can't see the details but I think it may be a Coloado spruce.