Sometimes it’s hard to know when to let go
To give up.
To move on.
John and I are that way about trees.
We love trees
Of all sizes.
So it’s been hard – especially for me
To admit that we have two trees in our yard
That are dying.
The Redbud I mentioned in an earlier post.
We’ve thought it to be the most likely to go down first.
All the while knowing the Mimosa at the entrance to our backyard.
We think it was planted sometime in the late 50’s or early 60’s.
At least according to Cindy who grew up in this house.
That means that it has lived almost a double life.
Twice as long as the 30 year average of most Mimosa trees.
It has as they say great bones.
Architectural branches that form a graceful canopy
Near the Wisteria covered pergola.
Leading into the garden.
This is after all the “front door” of the garden.
Where you enter if you are coming to
A bridal shower, an Easter Egg hunt, a garden party.
Or if you are looking for me
When it’s above 50 degrees outside.
But it’s more than just the “hostess” of the backyard.
It’s our childhoods.
If you grew up in this part of the country
You likely have a Mimosa tree
In your memory.
Though not native to this country.
They have enjoyed a popularity embedded into our horticultural souls.
I think of them as a 50’s thing.
Along with harvest gold appliances
And gingham checks!
Now, I know some consider them “trash trees”
And, I’ll admit that they do drop a series of
Everywhere the wind blows.
I personally have pulled up 1,687,543 baby Mimosa trees.
But they bloom as the hummingbirds are migrating through.
And they are drawn to each other.
Providing great dinner time entertainment.
For us and the birds.
We had a plan.
I let one of those baby Mimosa seedlings go this year.
And it has grown…and grown.
In one season it is over 5′ tall.
Our intention was to plant it near its mother
And as nature took its course.
It would grow and replace the dying tree.
A natural transition.
Made sense to us.
Until one afternoon last week.
When out of the blue
A major branch just dropped to the ground.
When we examined the split
It brought very sad news.
Let me back up a few weeks.
Sometime in July
This tree began to “foam at the branch”.
A white, frothy, sticky substance
Just began to ooze out of it.
And we noticed the bark was splitting.
But we had hope because new branches
Were suckering all along the old.
John shifted into research mode
And discovered that it is suffering from
Mimosa Vascular Wilt
This is caused by the fungus Fusarium oxysporum f sp. perniciosum.
Which is weird because Peg had a fungus the same week!
But unlike Peg’s fungus the tree fungus is terminal.
Quickly – within months usually.
And remember our tree is ancient.
It’s a soil born fungus that is being spread by contaminated soil
In nursery containers.
Which explains why Mimosa sales are outlawed in some states.
And to add insult to injury
It can also spread via seeds produced by infected trees.
So not only is the mother dying.
I have to kill her child.
It would have been a good week not to have internet available for research!
We simply can not figure a way to have another Mimosa tree.
We have to let go.
We will wait till fall for the next dreaded step.
Give her and the hummingbirds these waning days of summer.
To enjoy each other’s company.
To soak in another August afternoon rain.
To great visitors coming to the garden.
So this week while Jason and Torry took the first step
In letting go as Cassidy gleefully headed to kindergarten
John and I were next door at a different stage
Letting go in a different way.
Life has such synergy.