Saturday, October 8, 2011

Catching Up - Making space for deck and tree

I love trees! I've had a lot of experience at not being successful at growing trees. It amazes me, here in the mountains, how trees planted by human hands and tended with great care can fail so easily but trees that grow happenstance on bare mountain ledges and among what appears to be nothing but rock will flourish.

Over the first half-dozen years of living on this property I planted at least a couple dozen aspen trees and none survived. About 10 or 11 years ago, shortly after my sister and niece moved to Colorado, I found a volunteer cottonwood tree coming up in the yard. Unfortunately, it was coming under the deck. I really didn't expect it would survive. The young shoot was in an area that would not get much light and would get even less moisture. Lack of moisture is the biggest challenge in getting new trees to grow and establish themselves in this neck of the woods. I let the little tree go and watched it closely, hoping it would survive. Low and behold! It thrived and grew year after year. The trunk arranged itself in a shape that would clear the edge of the deck and it has become a most handsome tree.

This year for the first time, the tree trunk grew too close to the decking. I didn't want to lose the tree and I didn't want the deck ruined. By the time I noticed the encroachment, the tree had lifted the deck about an inch off its base. I called fix-it man who knows trees and knows decks. He came yesterday and re-sculpted the edge of the deck to accommodate the tree. The finished results look to me just as I had hoped - a modification that was done on purpose to preserve both the deck and tree and let them live in harmony.

The face board had also been warped from the tree pressing on the edge of the deck. The repairs were successful on that front, too. I know cottonwood trees are fast growers but it's hard to believe this tree is only around 11 years old. God's creations amaze me every time I stop to consider them. I'm grateful for the shade and enjoyment this tree has brought over the years!

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