Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Acorns from my Friend, The Big Tree

My parents have a big white oak (Quercus alba) tree in their front yard.  Once upon a time, this tree was growing in the front yard of my dad's grandparents cabin, along with two other trees.  Two of the trees burned up (whoops!) when the rotten old cabin was burned to make way for the house my parents built.  I believe the fire pruned some branches off this tree as well, although thirty-six years later you can't tell anymore.  With the neighboring trees gone, this one took advantage of all that space and light and reaches it's arms wide and high. 

Right now, the big tree is full of acorns, and they rain down on the metal roof of the house which sounds like someone is launching cannon balls at us.  It's exciting to stand in the front yard during a light breeze, since you never know when you might get konked on the noggin.  

Jamie and I decided to risk concussion to collect some of the acorns, and before long we filled an entire gallon baggie.  There are so many!

Mom's cat supervised from the picnic table. Brave kitty, to sit so still during an acorn bombardment.  

Can you see the little roots coming out of these recently fallen acorns?  I cut the tops out of some plastic jugs, poked holes in them, put in some gravel from my landscaping and some potting soil, and planted four or five of the sprouted acorns in each.  The rest of the bag of acorns is in the refrigerator, stuffed with damp newspaper to keep them fresh until spring.  

I would really like to have some baby oak trees to plant at the the farm that came from this big tree, since I have a sentimental attachment to it.  It's like a old family friend.  You know, that huge family friend that you all hope never falls on you, or any of your possessions, and sometime pelts you with hard objects.  That one.  Not only was this tree there when my great grandparents lived in this place, but it's a constant prop in my memories too.  See the large limb on the right side of the picture above?   We used to have a swing that was attached at that limb.  The tree might not have been as large thirty years ago, but still, that swing went scary high!  

Like most things you take for granted, I forget how tall the big tree is until I see it from a distance, with the house for scale.  That's a really big tree!  Maybe I just need one at the farm house...

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