Columns

Leaf Us Alone

It is with heavy heart that I write this column. This week I realized I am living in the horrific world of abuse. It’s so bad that I feel I must start an organization to put an end to the madness. How’s this for my cry for help?
“Help us put an end to tree abuse and neglect. Save trees every day. Be their voice. Help Trees in need. Become part of the Hill Country wide leader for the prevention of cruelty to trees. Join the American Society for the Prevention of Abuse to Trees. For only $20 a month, you will receive your own ‘Hug a Tree Today’ 100% cotton t-shirt plus the knowledge that one more Hill Country Tree will be saved.”*
*Excludes all cedar trees.
What’s the fuss all about? It’s My New Boyfriend. He’s a Tree Abuser. And he needs to be stopped right now.
We started dating a year ago December. In March, things had already progressed so nicely that MNB was offering to mow my lawn. That’s when I knew the relationship was getting serious. Why else would this man spend half a Sunday mowing two acres of tall grass?
In fact, he was so smitten with me that he offered to trim up my fruit trees. The trees were three years old and it was time to give them a good pruning. I wasn’t worried because My New Boyfriend was a good vegetable gardener, he knew his way around a WeedEater and he could handle a chainsaw with a finesse that was akin to neatly carving the succulent bird for Thanksgiving. I wasn’t the least bit concerned leaving MNB and my loppers alone in the backyard.
I wandered into the house to make dinner. Half an hour later I came out and found he would have made a cherry-tree-chopping George Washington proud. It was obvious Tree Abuse; and to my horror, it was right there in my yard – for the entire world to see.
My New Boyfriend announced proudly, “See I cut out the middle of all your fruit trees and left three branches to grow. That way you can pick the fruit easily.” Then he pointed to what was left of my fruit trees. I had high hopes of having large shade trees in my backyard that just happened to have peaches on them. Now I had oddly shaped sticks that were too scared to even try to grow peaches. Though, come to think of it, I did have a banner peach crop last year. So, I ignored the obvious.
The abuse stopped until this spring, but now he’s at it again. Last night, My New Boyfriend announced, “My peach trees don’t have any peaches on them. I’m going to cut them back to the ground.” I screamed, “Don’t you dare touch those trees! The Intervention Committee will be right over!”
I slapped on my Hug a Tree Today t-shirt and headed to Ground Zero. I wheeled my car into his yard and jumped from the car yelling, “Stop the abuse! Leaf them alone!” just as MNB was lifting a chainsaw to the poor innocent branches. He shook his head and put the gas powered butcher down. Then I pointed out the peaches hanging all over the tree. Granted there weren’t many, but I’m sure the few that were there saved that innocent tree from the abuse.
So please. If you value trees and peaches, join the ASPAT today. You’ll save hundreds of branches with your donation. And we might just ensure the safety of a good homemade peach cobbler as well.