In early summer of 2005 we were busy improving our lot in the cool mountains. We had received a gift of five desert hardy plants that turned out to be exceedingly beautiful and lush. Humming Birds loved the blossoms of the Hyssop, unfortunately it contracted an unknown fatal disease. It has not been replaced as yet. The Lavender has smelled heavenly. The Nearly Wild Rose blooms more profusely each year. The Spiraea has become a hardy bush covered with deep blue blossoms for nearly a month in late summer.
The lady of the house had bought and planted an Asian Elm tree the year before, 2004. Now, 2005, she was looking for an Aspen, but none of the nurseries, including Home Depot and Lowes, had any stock. One day after our weekly shopping trip to town, she was digging a hole in our rock hard, unrelenting soil. I sauntered up asked, "What are you planting now?" She grinned, looked at me, then picked up a spindly tree and plopped it into the hole, splashed in water and planting soil. I looked at it and blanched. (That means turned pale with fear and foreboding.) I said in an overly loud voice, "That's a Cottonwood!" "Why, yes it is," was the response.
L:Lavender. Center to Back:Tyme, Violet Skull Cap, Nearly Wild Rose,
Blue Spiraea. R:Hyssop. Far Upper Right: Russian Sage.
Needless to say, there was a large movement to remove the offensive monsters from the area under discussion. In all there were, I think, only four of the offenders in the park of any size. Two of which were at least forty feet high. Thereupon descended the SWAT team armed with Memos, letters and a newly hatched Guideline with two lines on the page:
1. "Thou shall not plant any tree called Cottonwood within the confines of the park." And,
2. "There shall not be any tree known as Cottonwood to be allowed to remain within the confines of said park in a living state at any time in the future or any other time to follow that."
The rest of the summer went by with only a few natters on my part about the "tree having to come out." And it just grew. The SWAT team never came by, I did not receive a notice of removal. And it grew more.
June of 2007 was nearly a repeat of 2006 as far as the Cottonwood was concerned. Except it grew even more and seemingly faster than ever before. 2008 was even more of the same and became more passe' if possible? The Cottonwood spurted growth to ever greater speeds and size. By 2009 I was in a frenzy. Arriving in June The Cottonwood was frightening. Somehow I swallowed hard and turned my back to the problem, knowing it was not the time for action yet. I cut the main trunk at about ten feet in height to keep it from getting too tall to handle. No one was either aware of my problem or maybe no one cared anymore. I never asked to find out.
One of our neighbors had a large trailer that would hold all the branches and trunk in one load and was willing to haul it to the garbage center just three miles away. So one day, September 12th to be exact, the trailer was parked next door and the cutting began. The first day all but the topmost branches were cut. That was enough for my psyche to handle for the day. The next morning the top branches came down and the trunk was cut at four feet so that the decorative chair would be attached to keep it from blowing over.
The deed was done. I am now writing this post to my blog to work out the feelings I had and have about the situation called "The Cottonwood." So far, I think it is working. I can now see the humor, (a little) the sadness, (a lot) and acceptance (sigh) of the happening (transaction) between all concerned.