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Tree Hugger’s Dilemma

tree sycamore thru leaves

I was moved close to tears by Trini’s post about a child’s feelings for trees and fairies:

https://pathsofthespirit.wordpress.com/2015/03/26/from-the-eye-of-a-rainbow-childs-mind-8/comment-page-1/#comment-14429

It felt good to know I’m not alone in my love for trees.

I have more trees in my yard than anyone in my neighborhood. My neighbors may think I’m crazy, or at least eccentric, for having so many trees in such a small front yard in the city. I like the natural look. Parts of my back yard look like a jungle. This is all because I hate to cut down trees. I relocate seedlings that are in the way. I put some in pots to give to friends. I’ve even replanted some in uninhabited edges of wooded areas.

The ivy I planted in my shady front yard is taking over, and that’s okay. It’s nice not to have to mow a front lawn. When I find the time, I enjoy trimming the ivy to create little paths.

IMG_1625The problem is, my space is limited, and there are all these little oak trees growing among the ivy. Maybe 20 or 30 if I really counted them. The front IMG_1623yard is about 25 x 50 feet at most, and already contains two dogwoods, a mimosa, and a cedar who’s roots eventually find their way into the plumbing system. The mother oak and another cedar stand out by the street along with a crepe myrtle.

Sometimes I set my jaw firmly, and pull up some of the little oaks and tear them up quickly, or I snip off the tops.  I meant to do more of this in the winter, when I hope they’re sleeping, but it’s been hard to keep up with them all.  And I don’t want to do it.

I feel bad pulling up the seedlings. But I can’t let a bunch of oak trees grow up in my little front yard.

I tell myself that seedlings are mowed over all the time. I imagine that in the forest, trees compete for light and space, and all of them cannot live. Right?

I’m hoping for a compassionate answer.