Feb 24, 2014

Monday Memoirs

Today I'm linking up with the lovely Royal for an edition of Monday Memoirs. 


Today I'm going to talk about my First Communion Tree. I took First Communion way back in April 1991, and the date was very close to Earth Day. My school gave out baby pine trees of some variety in honor of Earth Day. 

My mom had a brilliant idea that we would plant the tree in the yard and watch it grow as I grew. She did this 3 years later with my sister when she took her First Communion too. I remember it seriously being a stick with like 2 branches when we planted it in the flowerbed in the backyard. 

A few years later, it became too large for that flowerbed and it got moved to a different one along our fence line. I remember it growing very well and looking perfect in it's place. Over the years, my mom would take a picture of me next to it for record. We didn't do this every year though, just whenever she thought about it. 

I graduated high school and the tree grew. I graduated college and the tree grew. I got my first real job and the tree grew. And by now the tree was BIG. 

Since it was on the fence line, inhibiting it's growth, my dad decided it needed to be moved. He had already trimmed the tree on the side that was against the tree, and it was still growing like crazy. Now you have to understand something about my dad. He is the LEAST handy man in the entire world. Like doesn't own a drill, and maybe has 3 screwdrivers and a hammer in the garage. Even then, I don't know what he would do with them. But, the man does have some skill when it comes to yard work and such. So he contacted a guy who said it would be no big deal to move it - he would come in with a machine that would dig it up, get a good root ball, and put it wherever he wanted for only $100. 

Tree arriving at my house

Where did he want to put it? Well in my yard of course! (Keep in mind that my yard is approximately two and a half hours from his). He had a grand plan - put it on an open snowmobile trailer and haul it down to Columbus. He told me to scope out a place in the backyard, and I called the "call before you dig" place to ensure there were no wires or scary stuff in that area. 

I had mad digging skills

My mom and he arrived, and he promptly instructed me on how to dig a hole. It was LOTS of fun. And he sat on my patio drinking a beer, watching me. Then it came time to actually move the thing. And I'm going to say this tree was every bit of 12 feet tall. He brought a furniture dolly and said it would be "no big deal." Well an hour later the thing was still on the truck. He had to call in some friends (luckily many of his frat brothers still live in Columbus), and after taking down MY fence to get it in the yard, and one injured shoulder later, it was in the ground. 

Let the men do the work - I'll supervise

And I LOVED it. I placed it in the yard where it completely finished my yard off and blocked the one area where I could see my backyard neighbors. I babied that tree - built a trough around the base so when I watered it the water would stay in the tree's area. 

I can't for the life of me figure out how to turn this pic. I'm working on my 2006 mac because I can't seem to get the pics from this computer to upload to my google drive. Help! 

It was transplanted in October 2010 (according to my dad the best time to transplant anything), and it was thriving. Over the winter it snowed and the tree looked perfect covered in snowy crystals. Spring came and it grew glorious buds. The tree grew and thrived and looked amazing. Fall of 2011 one year later and it was still looking good. Another winter, and more gorgeous views out the back window. Spring of 2012 arrived and it budded, although significantly less than the previous year. And then summer of 2012 drastic heat hit early. I watered this poor guy as much as the ground would hold. I bit the bullet in July and hired a tree guy to come look at him. I figured this was my tree and I had to do anything to save it.

Pic before we took it down. All the needles had fallen off

Unfortunately, I paid $50 for a guy to tell me (before he was even all the way across the yard) the tree was dead. I'm not going to lie - I was petty upset. I couldn't believe after everything this tree went through it was dead. The tree guy told me it never even survived the transplant. The buds I saw that first spring were developed before the transplant. I was most nervous to tell my dad - I mean he went to such extremes to get my tree into my yard. 

But my dad took it like a champ, and exactly 2 years after moving it, he came back to help me cut it down. Lesson learned - if you want to move a tree, do it when it's small. And after that? Just let it grow to a good Christmas tree size and use it inside one year. Sadly something I didn't get to do. And I was really sad that something that made it my whole childhood and early adult life died because of me. I saved some of the branches (totally stripped of all needles) and plan on using them to decorate somewhere inside my house. My tree will forever be with me in my memories. 

Anyone else have a sad ending to a great childhood memory??


  1. Aw. I'm sorry about your tree. I'm glad you'll re-purpose some of the branches inside.

  2. Aw! I am so sorry. I would feel the same way. And what's with the tree guy all like "yep, it's dead" coming across your yard?! Geez, have a heart, dude!
    Thanks so much for linking up with me, Steph!