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Advertisement Beautiful trees are no match for mean boys
by By Lindsey Jackson · January 17, 2013


A tree-hugger is a slang term for an environmentalist, someone who wants to protect the trees from being cut down. A tree-lover is someone who likes to look at trees for hours on end and a tree-hoser is what I call two of my old middle school friends.

The day was warm and sunny. Charles and Ethan, two rowdy boys from school, were in my back yard playing with myself and two other fine young women when a water fight broke out. I vaguely remember who started it, but somehow Charles and Ethan were battling for the hose. Both boys had a hold of the dark-green snake and were fighting to spray the other as they pulled the hose across the yard where it became hooked on the bottom of my pint-sized, slender, Japanese Flowering Cherry tree.

In school we were offered one free tree to plant for Arbor Day. I spent an hour deciding which tree to get and when she finally arrived, I planted her immediately and watered her right when she needed water. She was my baby.

When the hose became hooked on the bottom of my baby, I screamed. As I ran toward the boys to get them to realize the impending tragedy, I realized my panic was no match for either of their victories.

The hose was pulled too firmly against the bottom of her trunk and, snap, the tree was killed.

The fight ended immediately. We all looked at the tree. She was bent from her lowest point, snapped and wrecked. Unable to bring herself back to an original stance, I attempted to pick up the tree to see if she could remain standing. It didn’t. I walked to the other side of the yard and sat in a swing. Tears started to run down my cheeks. A friend made an attempt to talk to me, but I was too devastated to talk. I wanted to be alone.

Later that night my mom had an idea to cut-off the tree where it had been snapped, which left a five-inch tall stump. I got over the death of the tree, but year after year, the stump grew and looked more and more like a tree. After about three years, small buds started to appear during flowering season and after six years, the now-bush would actually blossom. 15 years later, the bush-tree was taller than the house and was the most unique looking Japanese Flowering Cherry Tree I had ever seen.

The Index received a press release from the Arbor Day Foundation titled, “Celebrate the New Year in Iowa with 10 Free Flowering Trees from the Arbor Day Foundation.”

I wanted to share this because I think what they give in return for $10 is more than generous. All they ask is for people to contribute $10 to Ten Free Flowering Trees, Arbor Day Foundation, 100 Arbor Ave., Nebraska City, NE 68410 or visit arborday.org/january by Jan. 31. In return you are sent two white, flowering dogwoods, two flowering crabapples, two Washington hawthorns, two American redbuds and two goldenrain trees. If you sign up online, you can instead get 10 Colorado blue spruces, 10 oak trees, 10 white pines, 10 Norway spruces or a mix of all. Trees are expensive. If you try to buy a tree at a nursery, you could easily spend up to $50 for one tree.

The trees will arrive between Feb. 1 and May 31, with planting instructions. The release states the 6- to 12- inch tall trees are guaranteed to grow or they will be replaced free of charge.

I think this is a great chance to make the property around West Liberty much more beautiful. Just make sure to plant the trees away from those tree-eating deer or any line of hose. The tree-lovers said it’s a hard, in-expensive task, but someone has to do it.

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