Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Congratulations, it's an Armstrong Red Maple

One of the only things I miss about Florida are my live oak trees. Out in front of the house I had two live oaks, the largest of the two I grew from a tiny stick. After twenty three years they had grown large and supported a nice necklace of Spanish Moss. The larger of the two trees also had a nice staghorn fern attached to it, along with a orchid that bloomed every year. When I bought this house in Chicago, I thought about those trees. Our new home had nothing. Not one tree, not one bush, nothing but sod. It looked so plain. So one year ago I called up the City of Chicago and ordered a tree for the parkway in front of the house. That is city property, so they will come out and plant a tree at no cost to you. They came yesterday. Exactly one year after I made the call, a city truck showed up with a sort of bulldozer like contraption and dug a hole in my front yard. Moments after they started digging the hole another truck showed up with a bunch of trees on it. It only took about thirty minutes for them to dig the hole and stick my new Red Maple tree in that hole. My only problem with it, is that all the bark was stripped off of one side of the tree. I pointed that little flaw out to one of the workmen and he said, "Es bueno, no problemo." I looked around at the other workers. They nodded, "Si, no problemo." Good thing I picked up a little Espanol down in Florida. Anyway, we'll see. I'm going to tend that little tree as if it were my child. I am going to shower it, literally, every day with love and water. I'm going to keep the little girl next door away from it because she climbs all the trees in the neighborhood. (I still think she's the one who tore down my flag pole by swinging from it.) We'll see if that stripped bark is really bueno or not. There is one thing about the planting of the tree that I noticed. Even though all the city workers were obviously Mexican immigrants, they followed the tradition of every city work crew that has ever been. It took five of them to plant one tree. One to drive the bulldozer like contraption, one to stand there and point to the spot where the hole was to be dug, one to drive the truck with the trees, another to tamp down the dirt around the tree, and one more guy who stood there and told me "Es bueno, no problemo."


  1. It's a beautiful tree, Alan. You will enjoy it especially when the leaves turn in the fall. We have an Armstrong Red Maple adjacent to our property, (also in the parkway) which has grown full and quickly in just about three years.

    1. Did they strip some of the bark off when they planted it?