One hot Texas day, we discovered that the top half of our Juniper died off. I was perplexed since I installed excellent irrigation. My husband blamed me for not watching it’s water intake on the driest days of Texas. I took on the blame. Later we learned that Hollywood Junipers have “skin”, not bark. It’s nylon strap supports had prevented circulation of it’s water to the top half of the tree. We rescued our tree!
Tree Story Contest
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Trees support life, add beauty and manifest meaning for each of us. Post a photo of your favorite tree and tell us your tree story in 75 words or less.
The 2009 O2 Planting for the Future Tree Stories Winner is
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My 21 yr old son, Nikolas, was killed April 5, 2009. We placed a cross with his name on it underneath a strong oak with a perfect view of the new Cowboys stadium. Although he never got to see a game there, we know this perfect tree shades his cross just so, so that he can almost see inside that roof. He loved those Cowboys! We miss him! This is our place just for him.
|My very own tree! It’s the six inch twig of a red oak going in the hole, and I’m the excited little girl, not too much bigger. You should see it now. Over twenty years have passed since the community banded together to enrich the neighborhood with saplings. Now that the towering red oak showers my childhood yard with acorns, I’m sure it’s time for my own little boy to have a tree.|
|I used to go visit my boyfriend in Austin every other weekend. We didn’t have much money, so we visited Lady Bird Park often. It’s the most romantic place to be when you’re broke and looking for some R&R. We always sat under the same tree and watched the Sunset over Lady Bird Lake. We carved the tree with our Initials to make it our own; It’s still our favorite place to go together.|
We moved to Plano in 1965. Our neighbor was local nursery man, T.V. Wheeler. One morning he came over with a burr oak acorn, which he popped into his mouth, then planted it. He said, “This is the way the squirrels do it.” From this acorn, a magnificent tree grew!
What a surprise as this southern red oak tree shot out of a clump of daylilies I had brought to North Texas from my mom’s house in Louisiana! Within three years, it was 6 feet tall. After only 10 years, it is 30 feet tall and towering over our house lending much needed shade and beauty to a very hot and dry corner. We have since transplanted 4 more of these trees.
||What could be a fitting memorial for Daddy? A Southern gentleman strong in faith and courage, he pastored various congregations, comforting the flock. Even when he lost Mom and my sister in separate car accidents and throughout his battle against cancer, he faced each day with quiet dignity.
A magnolia tree now stands strong and stately, green throughout the changing seasons, sweet with aroma from its beautiful flowers. I see it and remember Daddy.
A twig planted by a boy. A bond; a boy and a tree, silence, sitting under it lost in thought. The tree the silent listener; often putting things in the pot things he thinks it likes. I liken my sons tree to him. One day when it gets too big for this pot as will our son one day too and will also have to leave home to start his life in another place.
|It started with the love of a tiny baby, loss, and plating in memory of Jackson (under this tree is a small bronze statue of a little boy). Jackson passed away when he was only 3 weeks old. I was inspired to create jewelry using the leaves from his tree. Proceeds benefit a very special charity in his memory. This launched the DeAnna Cochran Collection and a purpose creating “Jewelry for a Cause”.|
|Trees express great equanimity! One blistering August afternoon I experienced their love first hand during my afternoon walk. A landscaper had severely pruned a majestic weeping willow, its arms no longer swept across the lawn massaging the Earth. Sitting down I tried sending love through my hands. Moments later, like a gravity defying Niagara Falls, love came flooding back communicating delicious sweetness, appreciating my gift a mere trickle in comparison to this magnanimous presence.|
|My mother, an avid gardener, helped me plant this Live Oak tree three months after the sudden death of my husband in 1997. Our home was newly-built, and our back yard was nothing but dirt and rocks. Almost 12 years later, gardening has become a form of therapy for me, and my yard has become a testament to my survival. Every time I look at that tree, I think of my mom, and the love of gardening that she passed on to me.|
|In 1990, I visited a cousin in Lancaster PA. She had a 5 Star Maple whose roots came from England with our ancestors. She gave me a root cutting. I nurtured it in a jar - small pot - larger pot and finally the ground. It flourished and grew to over 5 feet. Then the 2007 drought hit. I watered – misted – and talked to it. But it gave up like a ghost from the past.|
|Doris Anne R.|
|I have a beautiful Japanese Maple Tree, which was given to us when we lost our 17 year old daughter. This rooted memory gives me great pleasure as I watch it sway in the breeze, shine with brilliant color in the fall and spring, and it envelopes me with the beautiful memories of our handicapped child. It reminds me that she now shines with HER TRUE COLOR in heaven.|
|An act of kindness 36 years ago, resulted in a Willow Oak tree today that is 64 feet high. My husband and I were visiting my parents in Louisiana and their neighbor dug up and gave us this very small tree as a house warming gift. We planted the tree in our front yard and God grew it. We named our tree, “Mr. Wailes”, after the man who gave us the tree.|
|I was given a small Oak tree in remembrance of my Mother’s passing. One winter I had to cut it down as freezing rain split it down the middle. Shoots popped up the following spring. Not sure what they were I finally let one grow. It turned out to be that little oak tree. A beautiful haven for birds, for me it signifies the spirit of my mother and her beautiful will to live.|
|Annies Tree. 1915-1995. Family tradition carried on for 3 generations. My original poem.This little tree was planted for me
The week that I was born
And as we grow, the world we’ll show
Our roots are deep and strong.One day I’ll climb my namesake tree,
Swing from its branches and feel so free;
But when I’m grown and gone from home
|Our tree was one of 5 when we bought our house. After 32 years and 3 sons, it stands alone. It has been a great first climbing tree, held a rope swing, shaded us from the summer sun and now holds many bird houses. We named the tree Gus. We are now noticing that our fruitless mulberry is waning. We are losing, not just a tree, but a family treasure. Thanks, Gus, for the memories.|
|Traveling home, my sister and I drove through barren, treeless landscape and agreed that it didn’t feel “right.” There were no trees. The landscape of our youth was hills and woods. Trees, for me, mean security. We grew up among trees - played, camped, watched birds, held family reunions all under their branches. We grew, as did the trees that my mother forever planted. I’d love to plant my mini-forest to nurture my own children.|
|Dig, dig, dig he dug
A lot of dirt there was he flung
“I want to dig, dig, dig!” I bugged
But too small I am, so he dug
A root to root, so big a root
Which made my daddy profanely toot
A lot of words I thought uncouthSo finally now, and finely how
My Red Bud Bud is all in now
A happy “BARK!” for all to hark
Our new bark, “BARK!”
|We moved into a suburban development after my unplanned early retirement following 9/11. Our view was a wind-swept Texas prairie relieved only by a creek. This vacation photo became my inspiration. I installed sprinklers and planted 150 trees to create a shaded avenue along our creek. As the trees grow, it’s become an area abundant with mallard ducks and other wildlife, our neighborhood is developing a unique sense of serenity.|
|I remember the last six months I spent with my beloved mother before she passed away from cancer. She loved apples. Whenever she ate them, her eyes would light up. In her memory, I planted an apple tree in our backyard.
If I win, I’d donate to a nonprofit organization helping people in 80 plus countries. I want everyone to feel as grateful as I had when I shared my life with my mother.
|Fall of 2000 my son Nick died. He liked to “have a think” on a milk crate in a corner of the back yard. In spring, I found a sprig growing intwined in his crate. I freed it, dubbed it “Nick”, and it is now over 10′. Each year since, I have planted a tree in different parks, with a small amount of his ash at the roots.|
|All winter I admired the bright red berries of the Possom Haw Holly tree in my back yard. Then one day in March, I heard high-pitched trills, and saw a commotion in the tree. A large flock of Cedar Wax-wings was feasting on the berries. They flew in and out of the tree, gorging themselves for several weeks until the berries were gone, but I didn’t mind.|
|There has never been “one” special tree for me… all trees have majestic presence. It all really started with my papa, who lived just north of Huntsville. We would take endless, magical walks through the woods and thickets on and around their property. When the wind would blow through the leaves of the trees, papa would stop listen so intently. When I asked what he was doing he always said he was listening to God.|
|My 39 year old daughter, Dana, my only child, passed away Feb. 26. She loved the beach, so in her memory I am making her a beach. I planted 3 windmill palms in her memory. If I win, I would love to add more palms in her beach area. I want to add beach chairs, so I can sit there and feel her around me and reflect on our memories together.|
|Girl Scouts Grow Strong
Our troop used the money earned from selling more than 600 boxes of girl scout cookies to replace the centennial tree which was distroyed during a storm in Parr Park. Like a tree, we hope these girls are forming good, solid roots to grow strong. Courage, Character and Confidence! If we win this contest we will plant more trees! We are learning to give back to our community.
|My Mother’s favorite flower, the Lilac, blooms only in the Spring.On the day my Mother died, the tree was in full bloom. The day of her funeral I awoke with a start, as the smell of Lilac filled the air.Winter was over, for the tree was in full bloom and ready for a bouquet. It was as if God had spoken out loud “Don’t worry, your Mother is with Me today”!|
|Weeping Willow Playhouse. My father planted a weeping willow at the back of our house when we were growing up. He let the secondary branches that grow downward reach all the way to the ground. He trimmed out the center branches and created an interior room or playhouse surrounded in a curtain of willow leaves. It became quite large. My friends and I would spend hours playing inside that tree. Sometimes I would just lie on the ground watching the wind blow, gently bending the tree and making the curtains of leaves softly sway. The tree and the house are gone now, and my father is in his mid-eighties. But, the memories return every time I see a Weeping Willow. Great tree, great Dad.|
|Ode o a Red Bud Tree
‘O red bud, ‘O red bud what blooming tree, could ever match the rose’ beauty of thee.
Throughout the winter we await first bloom, with hope to end the cold season gloom.
What joy to discover the new bud opening, it is comfort to see earth again awakening.
‘O red bud, ‘O red bud, what blooming tree, could ever bring so much pleasure to me
|I believe that trees can connect families and countries. Their beauty is eternal. When my parents were alive i felt magical moments at their kitchen table looking out at the next door neighbors Japanese Maple with it’s beautiful red leaves. My husband and i now live in the same house. We planted our own Japanese Maple near the one which connected the past to the present and probably the future.|
|My submission is a poem about trees in general, not a story about a specific tree.TreesTrees provide many things
To every bird that flies or sings
A place where they can rest
And a sheltered place to build a nest
Where they can raise their young
While protected from the sun
To men they provide a cooling shade
And wood from which many things are made Some trees provide nutritious nuts or fruits That the appetite of man or animal suits They provide oxygen and clean the air That makes the world so fair Not because of these things alone Trees are desired near any home It is our duty to protect our trees From destruction and disease Without trees we cannot survive For they keep our world alive
|My father planted my special tree when I was very young. My early memories are of playing around small white fences surrounding seedlings belonging to me and my brother. My tree is grown now, as my brother and I are, the old house sheltered by outstretched branches.A tree is truly special, growing with a child, serving as an anchor of memories, a measure of change and constancy, a memorial to the potential of life.|
|Years ago dad and I planted an orange tree seed. For years the tree never had fruit, only aromatic leaves. Dad never wanted to cut it down after even more years, knowing that we would eventually have fruit. Finally we found it to be full of blooms, hosting many honeybees. As dad’s health began to fail, the organic oranges ripened, bringing him tasty enjoyment. Today, each spring, the tree reminds us of him.|
|My favorite tree is a Christmas Pine. I planted this tree after Christmas 8 years ago. I never dreamed it would grow in this white rock! Now it is taller than the house. This tree was originally for a special friend…but when I took it to the nursing home, she already had two- no room for mine! So each time I look out my kitchen window, I remember her!|
|My Redbud is named “The Missy Tree”. It honors my best paw friend I ever had. The day she died I asked my husband to drive me to River Oaks where all the Redbud’s were in full bloom. We went and bought a tiny Redbud and planted it that day. I since moved I payed a large price to uproot her and now she stands 10′tall. She is proudly framed and shades our other family paw friends who have gone to puppy heaven.|
|20 or so years ago, I was moving to the DFW area with my two year old daughter. While looking for a house to rent, we came upon a little house for sale. I stopped and inquired only to find the owners, (an elderly couple) were not renting, only selling, for they were moving to a retirement village. The elderly couple were so sweet, offering us a glass of water. I commented on how beautiful their giant oak tree was|
|Full of grace and beauty is my plum tree With flowers galore, she stands proudly giving shade to all who come her way.
She has her own secret language
that her branches speak with each breeze…bees, butterflies and hummingbirds sing along in a melodic symphony!
No other tree matches her beauty,
her royal color and her conversation.
Full of grace and beauty is my plum tree Can you see? Then vote for me!
|The “Big Tree” was a landmark in the farming community in the Texas Panhandle where I grew up. My family worked and played under its great shade. As I child, I enjoyed climbing into it and making my playhouse under it. A fruitless mulberry, it was planted by my great grandmother when she came to the homestead in 1904. Although lightening and drought stricken, it measures 20 feet around and is still surviving!|
|My “Birthday Tree” mysteriously arrived on my 63rd birthday, delivered by Calloway’s. Who sent it? A new friend I had met at a conference called to say he had been “prompted” to send the tree. He didn’t know I had been making rhymes about being 63, sitting under my “Birthday Tree”! I explained my surprise and delight. A writer, he wrote a lovely poem about me sitting under my “Birthday Tree” when I was 63!|
|With two young boys grieving over the loss of their grandmother, we came up with the idea to plant a tree in our front yard in her memory. The boys helped plant, water, and care for that tree. A few years later, we found ourselves grieving over the loss of another grandmother and we planted another tree. Recently one of my sons friends father passed away. When I asked him what he wanted to do for his friend, he said “plant a tree”. The Shumard Red Oak tree has been our memory tree ever since. It has helped our grieving family.|
|Grandmother’s Magnolia -
My Dad and his brother played under its branches. At Grandmother’s request, they sprinkled coffee grounds, scattered eggshells and mowed with caution around its trunk. Springtime branches of glossy green and brown leaves dotted with huge pearly white blooms warmed their Oklahoma home. Holiday stories retold of festive centerpieces and lovely vases of Grandma’s Magnolia compelled us to plant our Magnolia from Calloway’s to continue Grandmother’s traditions, honor her memory and show our gratitude.
|This is what my family and I call our Gabby Tree. Planted last year following the death of our angel Gabby. A fitting tribute to her smiles and beauty. Gabby was born with cerebral palsy. Although she never walked or talked she was the strongest person I ever met. Her smiles touched everyone and they loved her. We hope the redbuds we plant will bring smiles like that to everyone who sees them.|
|When i was a young boy i went to West Texas for summer camp. While there we found a most unusual mesquite tree, it had been struck by lightning long ago and was split like a banana down the middle. Our compasses would spin like tops when held directly over it, i made lasting friendships and even kissed a girl for the first time. A great tree.|
|Back in the late 1960’s when Hickory Farms opened their store in the “new” North Park Mall, they gave each customer a tiny magniloa tree in a styrofoam cup. It had just two leaves! Forty years, and two generations of kids it has become the pride of the neighborhood!!|