Yesterday I planted 15 tree saplings on my property: 3 redbud, 3 persimmon, 3 black cherry, and 6 crape myrtles. It was the hardest physical work I’ve done in years, and every muscle in body aches today, especially in my hands and forearms from breaking up the heavy, clayey soil. And I still have 6 flowering dogwoods in a plastic bag in my basement awaiting another day with nice weather (Sunday, maybe?) to be put in the ground.
I expect the redbuds and the crape myrtles to grow pretty quickly (if, indeed, any of them survive at all). But the black cherry probably won’t even set flowers until a decade from now, and they’re unlikely to produce a full harvest of fruit until twice that time, or longer. If they thrive, and if the land remains intact, those cherry trees may one day grow to be 80 meters tall. I won’t live long enough to see it.
So I’d like to propose a new collective noun for multiple trees planted as saplings: a commitment of trees. For the cost of about $20 to Buncombe County, and a couple of bags of soil ameliorating mulch, I’m hoping to leave a legacy of beauty in my neighborhood for generations to come.
All fine and good: last night I was so grateful that I’d insisted on installing a soaking tub in my master bath.