Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A tree grows in Lewistown

Less is more
Somehow we want what's not natural.
Here in central Montana, trees are at
a premium. They naturally grow but
only where it happens naturally. Wild
Ponderosa Pines and Quaking Aspens
thrive on our mountains. Near a water
source Cottonwoods and Willows will
cluster. Few naturally sewn trees seem
able to survive on our rolling plains.
As settlers arrived, they quickly planted
trees. These wind breaks sheltered them
but more important announced that "we"
had arrived to survive against all odds.
Here today, gone tomorrow
Within defined city boundaries, our
forefathers planted civilization in
the middle of no where. Hence they
lined their streets with seedlings of
familiar varieties from back home.
Soon said saps grew to shelter them
beneath a shroud of green. Over the
years Dutch Elm Disease plus harsh
winters decimated Lewistown's
green belt. Now the survivors are
surrounded by empty spaces given
few are willing to rake or spend
cash. What happened to civic pride?
Treasure grove
When we purchased the Passion Pit
we never thought about landscaping.
Our first spring, the most pleasant
surprise was when our one hundred
year Horse Chestnut bloomed. This
stately gnarled giant sits behind the
house in all it's glory. Truly a thing
of beauty, we've done our best to
treat it with respect. Along another
side of our house sit two massive
Cottonwoods. Reaching high up to
the sky, their sheltering branches
keep us cool, calm, and protected.
Once is not enough
Sadly there were no trees along our
boulevard (space between the street
and sidewalk) in front of our house.
Like a lady about to go out on the
town, our home seemed naked sans
proper accessories. So we decided
to plant five trees along that barren
strip. Ultimately we selected Red
Canadian Chokecherries. Not the
shrub, these conically shaped trees
grow to approximately thirty feet
in height. Now planted all in a row,
they provide beauty and privacy.
Asphalt jungle
Somehow our burgundy leafed
beauties comfort and remind me
of just how important trees are.
Growing up in the northeast,
we lived in a forest of foliage.
At times so dense that one rarely
got a glimpse of blue. Here in
Big Sky Country, our massive
expanses of land require the
occasional punctuation of a few
properly placed trees. In the end
we have the best of both worlds.
Trees plus sky equal paradise!
Greetings from down under
While we have to wait until next summer
to finish our landscaping, at least we got
our new trees in before fall. Now I can
dream of sitting underneath our beautiful
trees. Under their sheltering boughs, we'll
sip a cocktail or two as summer breezes
slowly ruffle their leaves. Their sound,
scent, and sensations not only create life
long memories, they clean our air, cool
our homes, and simply look magnificent!
If you haven't already considered planting
some, go ahead and do it soon. Our earth
can always use another. More is more!