Fruit trees

Shaping Trees for Different Situations

Through the use of pruning techniques, it is possible to shape your tree to a certain style. There are seven main tree shapes that all have their own benefits for certain situations. During the growth of the tree, simply cut off the unneeded branches, tie the wanted branches into the proper shape, and you will be able to shape it however you want. However, for some of the more advanced shapes, equally advanced pruning techniques are required. There are many books written on this subject.

Usually, if you’re trying to get your tree to a certain shape, all the tying and pruning should occur in the fall. This will encourage the shape to stick, since no fruits will be produced at that point in time. Each of the different shapes is very useful in certain situations. So, here are some different types of shapes you are able to choose from.

Standard trees hardly need any explanation. These are the varieties that are most common, and probably what you picture when you think of any tree. No specific shaping is required to get the shape to take this form. Just let it go and prune it as you would normally, and unless you have a strangely deformed tree then it should end up being a standard tree.

It is possible to turn a standard tree into a bush tree through pruning. The branches take the same shape, but the stem or trunk of the tree is noticeably shorter. This can be beneficial if you want to grow trees, but don’t want to block the view. For example, my house has a great view of the Rocky Mountains. I didn’t want to sacrifice this gorgeous view, so I grew my trees up as bush trees.

Cordons are a type of tree that you might not be familiar with. It consists of one stem with no branches. It is planted at an angle so that it arches up over the ground. Through the course of its growth, all branches are removed. These are beneficial because they take up very small amounts of space and more can be fit in a certain square footage. The only negative aspect is that they produce smaller amounts of fruit per tree.

Espalier trees grow with a single vertical stem in the center, and several horizontal branches on each side. These allow for long rows of trees, while still producing large amounts of fruit. If you operate an orchard, you probably use this shape to fit as many trees as possible into the area you have.

Fan trees use the same theory as espalier trees. However, the shape is slightly different. The same central vertical stem is used, but the connected branches are not horizontal; they grow in the same pattern as a standard tree, only they are two dimensional rather than three dimensional. They are also used to save space, and are used instead of espalier trees for certain types of trees that do better with sloped branches.

Another type of espalier is the step-over espalier. They are like a normal espalier, but with just one horizontal branch very close to the ground. They are particularly interesting because they still produce delicious fruit while providing a border for whatever you want. I have used step-over trees to fence of my garden. They are definitely my favorite shape of tree, mainly because they are like a fence that bears fruit. What’s not to love?

As you can see, each of these shapes has its own benefits and negative aspects as well. If any of these sounds like they would be a good fit for your garden, you can ask your local nursery employees for advice on reading material that will help you achieve your goals. Most of the time, getting the tree into the desired shape is a very easy process and just requires some guidance at the beginning.

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Selling at Farmer’s Markets

Usually the main motivation for planting a fruit tree is just the joy of maintaining a tree and eating the delicious fruit that comes from it. However, in my personal experience it is possible to go on a quite lucrative venture with fruit trees by operating a fruit stand or participating in a farmer’s market.

When I moved to Florida, I was slightly depressed at the fact that I had just left behind years and years of hard work to get my lawn to the point it was. However, I was able to healthily channel this depression into the desire to get a new and more beautiful garden and lawn setup going. The house I moved into was nice, but the previous owner obviously had no gardening prowess. The lawn was barren of any features besides grass. Lots and lots of grass.

I decided that since I was now in a new climate that I had never experienced before, I would grow some trees that I didn’t have the opportunity to grow before. I decided to do the truly Floridian thing to do, and get a few orange trees. It was a lot easier than I had imagined. I’ve had some rather disastrous experiences with planting trees in the past, and planting the orange trees was no problem at all. I decided to go with Valencia oranges, just because they are the most popular orange to grow and almost everyone is able to grow them successfully.

After I picked out what type of orange I wanted, I decided to get three trees. It took me about 3 days to dig all the necessary holes and install the trees. It was a flawless operation, and I truly felt like an expert. The trees grew healthy and straight, and produced fruit at the time of year they were expected to.

For the three or four years, my orange trees didn’t produce very much fruit. Sure I never ran out of oranges for my own personal usage, and I drank almost nothing but orange juice, but I didn’t have the ludicrous amount that you might expect from 3 trees. I wouldn’t say I was disappointed with my trees. I was happy to be getting any fruit at all. But I had heard of people getting thousands and thousands of oranges from several trees, and I was slightly baffled as to why I wasn’t so fortunate.

About a year after that, my orange trees really took off. I walked outside one day to see about 5 times as many oranges as I had grown in any previous seasons. I thought I was seeing things, but they all stuck around. I harvested so many oranges that year, I hardly even knew what to do with all of them. That was when my neighbor suggested to me that I sell at a farmer’s market. I found out the time that they go on, and rented a spot for my truck (some farmers markets allow you to come and sell for free, but mind charged rent just to park your truck).

Within the first day at the farmer’s market, I had made back all the money I spent on the original trees. My oranges were truly a hit, and I was getting more customers than any of the other participants. After that week, I didn’t miss a day at the farmer’s market. It wasn’t enough money to live off of, but it was a good amount for just selling some oranges. Besides, what else would I have done with them? I certainly couldn’t have eaten them all by myself. So if you have an excess of fruit, you should never throw it away or try to eat it all by yourself. Take it to the farmer’s market and try to get some extra cash for your gardening labor. If your products are delicious, you might just be a hit with the consumers.

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Removing Old Trees

Sometimes a tree gets to the point where it is necessary to say goodbye to it. It can be a painful choice to make, but sometimes the tree gets too close to the house, gets too diseased, gets an incurable infestation of some pest, or grows too tall and gets close to a power line. If any of these things occur, its best to do the right thing and get rid of the tree. Although you might have spent hours and hours getting the tree to where it is today, it is almost dishonorable to the tree to allow it to suffer in bad conditions.

Once you have made the choice to remove the tree, you need to plan its removal. I can’t begin to count how many windows I’ve seen knocked out or cars I’ve seen crushed because of poor planning in the tree removal process. Decide what direction you want it to fall, and accurately measure to make sure it will fall completely clear of anything else that it could possibly cause damage to.

Once you have the falling direction planned out, you should climb up the tree and tie two long ropes near the top. Anchor them on the opposite side of the one that you want it to fall towards. This will allow you to adjust the direction the tree is being lowered in, just in case it starts leaning towards anything it could destroy.

Now that you’ve taken all the necessary precautions, you are ready to begin chopping. If you plan on using a manually operated saw or axe, please step back and consider how insane that is. Chopping down a tree by hand will take you forever, and will not even begin to be as accurate as using a chainsaw. If you don’t have a chainsaw, you shouldn’t even consider doing it without one. Ask around with your neighbors and see if anyone has one that you could borrow. If that doesn’t work, rent or buy one from your local home improvement store.

Before you start chopping away at the tree, you should wear proper eye and face protection in case any wood chips fly towards your eyes. I had a friend who blinded his right eye while cutting down a tree, so I hope all of my readers do not make the same mistake as he did. Whenever you operate a power tool, always be sure to wear proper protection for any exposed parts of your body.

When making the cut, you do not want to just cut a straight line into the tree. It is best to cut a sideways “V” into the tree. This is because if you cut the straight line, the tree will end up rolling to one side or the other. If you cut in a “V”, the tree will be able to fall in the exact direction that you want it to fall. Occasionally it might be a few feet off due to human error during the cutting process, but if you have some strong friends pull on the ropes you tied, you can line it back up with the path you wanted it to take. The entire process shouldn’t take more than an hour.

Removal of the stump can be slightly more difficult. You have several choices; you can rent out a stump chipper that will completely destroy the visible section of the stump. Or you can spend countless hours digging it out. Digging out the stump is much more thorough, but takes forever. If you have kids this shouldn’t be a problem. Kids often find the thought of digging fun, and are excited to go outside and dig all day long with their friends. This was the method I used, and I had the entire stump out within a week. Keep in mind that my stump was about 1 foot in diameter, and digging probably won’t work for stumps much larger than that.

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Pruning Your Trees

If you have just entered the tree growing world, you have no doubt heard the term “pruning” tossed around by the more veteran growers. Well, I have something to admit. For several years, I did not even know what pruning was. I heard the term a lot, but I never felt comfortable asking someone what exactly it was. Even though it would have benefited my gardening and tree growing, I was too prideful to ask. I’ve found that pride is the reason for the failure of many great endeavors; if I had just asked someone what pruning was, I wouldn’t have undergone a few of the disasters that occurred during my first years of gardening.

Pruning is the removal of dead or unneeded branches to encourage the growth of flowers. Usually a tree will end up devoting energy to branches that don’t need it, while neglecting branches which are bearing more fruit. If you remove the branches that are taking all the nutrients, you will begin to see a flourish in the other ones. Pruning also keeps the tree in shape by keeping the branches even. This prevents it from becoming weighed down on one side. Having too many branches on one side could cause the tree to become permanently crooked.

Many gardeners don’t even think about pruning their trees until they start to bear fruit. This is a big mistake, and you should never neglect to care for a tree just because it hasn’t yet begun to produce. During the entire process of growth, you should prune the tree in a way that it is even and uniform. Then, when it does start to produce fruit, the results will be significantly greater. It is very easy to tell the difference between a tree that has been pruned regularly during its growth, and one that has been neglected. Generally the shape of the tree is much more natural looking if it has been pruned.

The first thing to look for when you start pruning is any branches which are dead or diseased. These are quite easy to recognize. Usually they don’t bear any fruit, and might be misshapen or discolored. Don’t hesitate at all in chopping these guys off, as they are nothing but detrimental to the health of your tree. Sometimes a branch can be dead or diseased without making it too obvious. If this is the case, simply wait until the tree is flowering and it will become obvious by not growing anything.

The second type of branch to look for is the branch that is too close in range to all the other ones. If it grows at such a length and angle that the end is right next to all the other branches, they might end up crowding each other out. Take off the smaller of the two branches to allow the larger one to have the breathing room that it needs. This same rule applies to the weight balance of your tree. Sometimes, for reasons we will never understand, a tree will grow several branches on one side and weigh itself into being lopsided.

So hopefully I have provided you with a basic knowledge of pruning. There are more situations and types of branches that require pruning, but what I’ve outlined is the very basic parts. These can alter depending on how old your tree is. For example, for the first 3 years of a tree’s growth it requires pruning that follows more “formative” guidelines. After the tree is well established, you will need to use “regulatory” pruning to keep it where you would like it to be. There are entire books written on how to prune trees depending on how old they are. There are far too many techniques for me to go over, so if you want to use these advanced techniques then you should go to your local library and check out a book.

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Protecting Trees with Bird Netting

If you have a problem with birds, you have probably tried many solutions. Some of the most popular include plastic animals, scarecrows, wind chimes, or highly reflective tape. All of these things can do a great job of reducing bird problems. I have quite a few cherry trees in my backyard, and I used to struggle a lot with birds. After I applied all of these solutions, my problem went almost completely away. Unfortunately, the solution only lasted a few months.

Apparently, birds have a natural tendency to get bolder as time goes by. While at first my scarecrow scared them senseless, now I look outside and see them sitting on his shoulder. And munching on cherries from my tree. Those insolent little fiends! I’m not saying I mind birds. I love having them around my yard. But you see, I’ve already designated one tree specifically for allowing birds to eat off of. But it seems that birds can’t be content with what they’re given. They always feel the need to go over to my own trees when there is a tree just for them that doesn’t have any scary things around it.

I saw many gardening stores marketing a type of bird netting. I decided to use it. Bird netting is basically a giant net that you throw over the entire tree. The holes are about one half of an inch wide. I purchased enough of this to cover one whole tree. It was quite a hassle to install, but it definitely worked after that. I didn’t have any more problems with birds taking cherries from that tree. But one day I woke up and made my daily rounds. On that day, I found 2 birds caught in the netting that had been choked to death. I felt absolutely terrible. I buried the birds and immediately took down that netting. I didn’t want to protect my tree at the cost of the birds’ lives! Sure, I’ll kill off a few bugs, but birds are a little too nice for me.

For a while I felt too guilty to prevent the birds from eating any more. I thought that I would make it up to them by letting them feast on my cherries. I even took down my scarecrow. But a few months later I saw something in a fabric store that made me rethink my generosity. Almost every fabric store sells a material called “tulle”. It is very fine netting with holes too small for any bird to fit its beak or head into. While it is easy to find, it is also extremely cheap. Buying enough to cover one tree ended up costing less than half of what it cost for the lethal bird netting.

I installed the tulle onto my tree (I’ll admit it was a lot harder to install than the bird netting was. I had to attach several large pieces together at the seams) and watched it for a day. I wanted to keep an eye on it every second, so that if a bird got caught I could quickly help it out. Fortunately, no bird ever got caught. Tulle is a much safer and cheaper alternative to bird netting, and I suggest it if you have any problems with birds. Just remember to let them have at least one tree for themselves! Sharing with birds is an essential part of being a good gardener.

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Preventing Diseases in Fruit Trees

If you maintain any pitted fruit trees such as plums, peaches, or cherries, I’m sure you know that those types of trees are much more susceptible to diseases than any other type. While the fruits are delicious, it can be rather hard to live with all of the maladies that can plague the life of everyone who has ever grown one of those types of fruit trees.

The main disease that you will hear about the most is known as “Brown Rot”. This is a fungus that attaches to many of the leftover fruits after the picking season is over. Not only does it look disgusting on the leftover fruits, but it also can come back on the newer fruits, rendering them inedible (unless you enjoy eating fungus). To prevent this malady, you should prune your trees often to encourage good air circulation. Buildups of moisture are the main cause of the brown rot. Also when you are done picking for the season, you should get rid of all of the leftover fruits in the tree or on the ground.

A cytospora canker is a disgusting dark, soft area on tree branches. Gum protrudes through the bark, along with a large callus. The pathogen which causes these cankers usually enters the tree through older wounds. If you prune all of the sprouts that occur in late summer, cankers will have a harder time making themselves known within your tree. When you prune, always allow the wounds to heal naturally rather than use the wound dressings that you can buy at gardening stores. I’ve found that these usually do very little to help any situation, and only serve to make the tree look unnatural.

Those planting plum trees might deal with something called Black Knot. The symptoms of black not are rough tumors or growths that can be seen on the tree’s branches. If you see any of these, you should immediately chop off the branch it has attached to. If you use branches for mulch usually, don’t for this one. This disease can easily re-enter the tree if it is within a certain distance.

Almost everyone who has ever maintained a cherry tree has dealt with the “Cherry Leaf Spot”. It usually shows itself when there are old dead leaves accumulated on the ground. Preventing this disease is fairly easy. All you have to do is be fairly diligent in raking up all of the leaves that fall from your tree. If you have already seen signs of the disease, you should destroy all of your raked leaves. If not, then you can use them as mulch.

When your fruits ripen and become ready for picking, you should always be completely finished with picking within 2 weeks. It is best to daily go outside and pick all of the new ripe fruits, along with any that have fallen off of the tree or are starting to rot on the tree. By doing this, you will prevent bees and wasps from becoming too dependent on your tree for nourishment.

Growers of fruit trees are constantly faced with diseases and pests to worry about. However, if you take the proper precautions then you can avoid most of them. You should also look for any diseases that have been affecting your local area, and try to take steps to prevent those as well.

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Planting and Caring for a New Tree

When you have decided on which kind of fruit tree you would like, and
where you would like it, you can finally start to plant it. If you buy
your tree from a nursery, be especially careful when you are taking it
from the nursery to your house. I once had a friend who put the tree in
the back of his truck, but clipped a sign on the way home. The entire tree
snapped in half, and my friend was left a very sad man.

When you have gotten your tree safely back to your yard, look at the
bottom of it and see how big the clump of roots is. It may seem like a lot
of work now, but you want to dig a hole that is twice as wide as the
clump, and just a little less deep. Making the hole slightly bigger than
the clump of roots allows there to be room for the soil that you dug out
to be put back in. Otherwise you would be stuck with a giant heap of
unwanted dirt, and nowhere to put it. After you have dug the hole, line
the hole with some compost or fertilizer so that the tree will grow
better. After you have done this you should set your fruit tree into the
hole, and spread the roots out evenly so that the tree will be strong and
stable.

When all of this business is done, take the soil that you dug up and fill
in the hole completely. Unless you want big piles of dirt everywhere, you
should be sure you use all of the dirt even is it is a couple inches
higher than the rest of your yard. This is because it will compress when
watered. Before you firm up the soil, make sure that the tree is
completely vertical and will not fall over. After you have checked that
the tree is perfectly vertical you can gently firm up the soil.

If the tree’s trunk is not yet completely sturdy and can be bent, you need
to tie the tree to a stake with a bit of rope. Be sure not to tie the rope
tightly to the tree, as you need to allow room for the trunk to grow. Once
the tree is sturdy enough to withstand all types of weather, you can take
the stakes off of it. When all of this is done you should mulch around the
base of the tree. If you live in an area where wildlife can access your
yard, then you should put a fence around your tree, because some animals
will eat the bark off of young trees.

Once you have successfully planted your fruit tree it will start to bear
fruit after it is three to five years old. Once your tree starts to carry
a lot of fruit you should periodically pick some of the fruit so that the
branches aren’t weighed down too much. If the fruit gets too thick, the
branches can break off. On some years your tree might not bear as much
fruit as others, but this should not worry you. Healthy trees often take
years on “vacation” where they produce little or no fruit.

After you’ve planted your tree you might start to have some problems with
pests. To help keep these pests away, always rake away old leaves, brush,
or any other decaying matter that could be holding bugs that could be
harmful to your tree.

To make sure that your tree always stays healthy in the long run, you
should prune it during winter or spring. Water your tree every two weeks
during dry times, and be sure not to hit your tree with a lawn mower or a
weed eater because it could severely damage the growth process. Also just
make sure that your tree gets plenty of water and plenty of sun, and your
growing experience should be just great.

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Picking the Right Orange Tree

If you live in a hot, humid sub-tropical zone like Florida or California, you have many options for growing fruit trees. You are lucky enough to be able to support almost any type of plant as long as you prevent pests from taking over. You should consider growing an orange tree, as these are usually easy to maintain and produce some of the most delicious fruits. The orange is one of the most popular fruits worldwide due to its sweetness, juiciness, and distinctive flavor.

The orange tree can reach up to 50 feet in height towards its later years, so you should definitely take that into account when planning. Even if you’re starting with a very small tree, plan ahead and place it in an open area so that it will have plenty of room to expand. If you make the same mistake I did, you will end up having to renovate your yard to some extreme measures, such as taking out an entire shed. Just take the necessary precautions beforehand and avoid all of this trouble.

The ideal soil for growing an orange tree would be fine sand with great drainage. The soil should be deep enough to allow for extensive root development, since the trees are known for reaching monstrous sizes and requiring lots of support from down below. If you have shallow, easily saturated soil then you should either do something to remedy it or move onto a different type of tree. It is most likely that attempting to grow an orange tree in these conditions would be disastrous.

One of the more popular types of orange is the “Washington Navel”. It probably came about as a mutation of other oranges. It originated in Brazil around 1820, and had moved on to Florida within fifteen years. It is characterized by being one of the largest of all available oranges. The peel or rind is easily removed. Usually it is not as juicy as other oranges, but has an intense flavor. These are the most popular orange trees for commercial growing. If you decide on one of these trees, you probably won’t have to water as much.

Another type of orange is the “Trovita”. It was invented sometime in the early 1900s at a lab in California devoted to experimenting with new types of citruses. It started being publicly marketed around 1940. It doesn’t have a very strong flavor, and has more seeds than a Washington Navel. However, it was designed to be more adaptable to harsher, hot and dry environments that would not be acceptable for other types of orange. Some of the more popular oranges in Florida right now are mutations of this type.

The ‘Valencia’ is one of the most juicy and flavorful oranges. It is most popular in South Africa and the southern USA states. Until about 20 years ago, Valencia oranges made up a strangely large portion of the orange market due to its popularity. It is thought to have been invented in China. It has almost no seeds. Another subgroup of Valencia oranges are the “Rhode Red Valencia” oranges. These were created around 1960, so they are slightly more recent than other types. Various mutations occurred and the trees that grew as a product of them were large and extremely hardy. The oranges themselves are more juicy and less acidic than the standard Valencia oranges.

Orange trees are a great thing to get planted, because with just a little effort in the planting process you will be able to enjoy hundreds of delicious fruits every year. Just pick whatever orange sounds the most delicious, and go with it! Before you purchase a tree, you should of course consult a local expert to make sure your desired type will flourish in your area. Usually this won’t be a problem, but it is always good to make sure before you spend the money and time.

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Picking the Ideal Spot for your Fruit Tree

When growing a fruit tree, choosing the right place to plant it is very important. One thing that you have to consider is its proximity to a building, electric line, side walk, or any other thing that might disrupt its growing. Once you have planted a fruit tree, the chances of unearthing it and changing its spot without killing it are very slim. Therefore you must always be sure you know which size fruit tree you have (dwarf, semi dwarf, or standard) and how big it will end up being once it is an adult. Dwarf trees need an area with an eight-foot diameter to grow. Semi-dwarf fruit trees can grow up to fifteen feet wide. Standard fruit trees can grow as wide as thirty feet. To keep the size of your fruit tree(s) at whatever level is best for you, be sure to prune them at least once a year.

Another thing that you have to consider when planting a fruit tree it whether or not it is getting all of the sunlight it needs to survive. You also have to be sure it doesn’t get too much sunlight. If your tree doesn’t get just the right amount of sun, it will die. Be sure that you do not plant it where the sunlight will be blocked by something. Also be sure that it isn’t being constantly hit be the sun at every moment of the day. Either of these can be fatal to the tree.

An important thing to keep in mind when choosing a spot for your tree is whether your spot will be convenient for watering, harvesting, and pruning. A place that would not be good to plant a fruit tree is close to your house or your fence. Any of these things could get in the way of you harvesting and pruning. If your tree grows over your fence the fruit could drop into your neighbor’s yard, which might seem like a nice thing but would probably offend some people. You should also be sure to plant your tree where it will be easy to water; if you already have a sprinkler system in your yard you could put your tree where the sprinkler could reach it. If you do not have a sprinkler system installed, you should put the tree within reach of your hose.

One of the most important things of all to keep in mind when planting a fruit tree is whether or not your soil in your yard is suitable for your tree. You have to make sure that is has enough nutrients, it has enough moisture, there is proper water drainage so your tree doesn’t drown, and it is the right texture. If your soil doesn’t have these traits then your tree won’t grow very well or produce good fruit. You can always alter your soil to be more suitable for your tree. One way that you can find out what kind of soil you have is by taking a sample of it and taking it to a lab. It may be expensive, but they can test it for what nutrients it has the most of. You’ll have the results back in a couple of days. If your soil is low in nutrients, you can go to your local nursery, or any other store with gardening supplies, and get fertilizer according to what your soil is most lacking in.

After you have checked on all of these things, you are finally ready to go choose what kind of fruit tree you want and get ready to plant it. When you are choosing your tree keep in mind the spot you picked, and buy the tree that would do best in that spot. The worst thing that can possibly happen is devoting time and money to growing a tree, only to end up having to remove it because of poor planning.

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My First Tree

Almost everyone’s first tree experience has some embarrassing events. Nobody can be an expert right away; we all make mistakes that sometimes haunt us for years afterwards. Some of us make worse mistakes than others, though. I think that if there was an award for being the most naïve person to ever attempt growing a tree, I would win.

When I decided to plant a tree of my own, I had the perfect spot in mind. There was a gap between my house and my fence of about 5 feet. It was probably the least traveled area of my whole lawn, and I thought it could use something to spice it up. Maybe if I provided some lovely shade, it would become more used by my family. I envisioned a little picnic paradise in the shade, where my family could go just to be with each other and nature. Boy was I wrong.

I decided on a nice apple tree. Despite the risk of apples falling on our heads, I thought it would be a treat to sit under the shade and munch on delicious home grown apples. Just the thought of this romantic, poignant activity was enough to make me drive my self to the nursery and purchase the first apple tree in sight. I didn’t know enough about trees to look at the roots or any of the signs that it could be an unhealthy tree. I spent the required amount of money and had the tree delivered right to my house.

I dug the hole right where I wanted the tree. This took almost the rest of the day. Holes are an easy thing to underestimate. It’s easy to say that a hole will only take an hour or two, but once you actually start digging it usually progresses a lot slower than you would have estimated. By the time I actually got the hole big enough to fit the ball of roots, I certainly didn’t feel like digging another few feet around the perimeter as most tree planting guides suggest. I was just ready to place the tree. With the help of my morbidly obese neighbor, I lifted the tree across the yard and dropped it into my hole. Then, it was time to fill in the hole.

I couldn’t have been happier once I filled in that last shovel load of dirt. I stood back to admire my work. That was when my 3 year old daughter said something that crushed my spirits, and haunts me to this day. “Daddy, that tree stands up like grandpa!” My father is a great man, and if she had compared any other aspect of the tree to him I would have considered it an honor. But unfortunately his back has been deteriorating lately, and he can’t stand up very straight. I noticed that my tree did indeed have a similarity to his posture.

Thinking this was a problem that the tree would naturally outgrow, I decided to leave it for a while to see what happens. Every day I went out to check on the progress of the tree; to see if it was any straighter than it was the day before. I daily had my spirits crushed when I saw that it had not improved at all. Not wanting to put forth the effort of removing it from my yard, I decided to just forget about it. I never went over to that side of the house again and almost completely pushed the tree from my mind. I decided that if any problem ever came about from leaving the tree there, I would pack up my furniture and flee the state. That’s how much I was humiliated by my tree experience.

After about 3 years of completely ignoring that the tree ever existed, I was sitting in my house one day and heard a loud crash. I ran outside to see what the problem was, just to see that my tree had grown to such an unmanageable size that it had taken out my gutter and part of my neighbor’s fence. I moved out of state within a week.

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