Messy Subject…

When I recommend a certain tree for a certain spot the most often asked question is “Are they messy?” What is it with that question, anyway? Every tree, given its biomass, drops about the same amount of material every year, more or less. 

Yeah, some trees are just natural limb barfers, usually broadleaved softwoods, but beyond that, there are NO trees on this planet that you could call “clean.”

A honey locust over a swimming pool, or a sap dripping pine over your new Porsche may prove to be a nightmare for some, but that is just poor planning right out of the gate.

Trees drop things for a reason, and that reason is growth, pure and simple. Be it leaves or needles, fruit or cones, bark or flowers, it is because the tree is growing! 

Consider all the crap us humans leave behind every year, and it would seem that a tree is pretty neat, comparatively speaking! Because we choose to live under trees, we expect them to be on their best behavior, and sometimes we may not appreciate the give and take of the situation. Are the dappled shadows worth the raking every year? 

Is the attraction of pollinators, birds, and wildlife in general a reasonable tradeoff for a couple hours worth of stuffing a “green bin” in the fall?

Are a bunch of surface roots that make mowing the lawn such a pain in the neck a few times a season worth the environment that the tree provides each season?

Not to say some things trees drop to earth just aren’t worth the value of that specific tree’s existence, but on the whole, trees make our lives much more comfortable that many may consider.

Ask any commercial orchard manager or nursery owner about what they think about leaves falling to the ground every year, they will probably respond with “it sounds like money in the bank to me!”

If you just can’t stand raking every year, there is always Nevada…

As always, plant high and often…   

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