Edible City is where I muse about urban gardening and share tips from my new book City Farmer

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Moving Trees

Wayne Grady and Merilyn Simonds did a presentation at the Toronto Botanical Garden this week. Their subject was "a passion for trees"--turns out they fell in love while measuring a balsam poplar. Talk about tree-huggers!

As I listened to them and watched their wonderful slides, nostalgia and grief for the trees I left behind when I moved house ten months ago overcame me.

Some context: my new house is roughly seven large city blocks away from my old house, and in the month leading up to my move, I wheelbarrowed as much of my garden as I could to my new digs. The tree haul consisted of:

* 2 paw paws (a native Ontario tree--Asimina triloba)
* a white cedar
* a serviceberry
* an alternate leaves dogwood
* a sumac
* a hemlock

Everything except for one paw paw appears to have survived the wrenching relocation.

But it's the trees I left behind, too big to move, that I mourn:

* the red oak
* the persimmons given to me by Mary Gartshore of Pterophylla Nursery near Walsingham, Ontario, which may be starting to bear fruit some time soon
* the sumac I transplanted from the farm belonging to my ex's father (who is now dead and the farm for sale)
* the Kentucky coffee tree
* the hop tree with its sprawling, gangly branches
* the sugar maple, the first tree I planted at the house after I moved there
* the redbud

Each tree carried a story and meant so much to me. Leaving them behind, I now realize, was the saddest part of a sad time. Yes, I'm happy to be planting new stories, planning the forest and orchard that will transform the sunny expanse of my new home into cool, fruitful shade. But I miss the trees that grounded me for years in my old life.

1 comment:

  1. Help! I am looking for Pawpaws. I am curious to try the fruit. I would return the seed... Though it does sound as if your pawpaw trees are less than 5 yrs old...

    Anyways, more of a comment that it is nice to see that some people are keeping indigenous species alive in the city...