November 16

39 Trees Attacked Us This Weekend. But We Won.



This was the scene of our backyard on Friday afternoon:
My Dad and my sister Nancy came over to help layout the trees we’d plant on Saturday. We had feeble hopes that we might actually get some digging done on Friday, but it took us a couple hours just to figure out where we’d put all the trees we’d bought the weekend before.

In total, here is what we had to plant:

The one Taiwan Cherry Tree will grow:
-upwards of 25 feet tall
-20 feet wide

The one Redbud Tree we have will grow:
-25 feet tall
-15 feet wide

The one Riverbirch Giant tree will grow:
-65 feet tall
-50 feet wide

The three Nuttall Oak trees will grow:
-40 to 60 feet tall
-40 to 60 feet wide

The three Weeping Willow trees will grow:
-30 to 40 feet tall
-35 feet wide

The nine Green Giant Arborvitaes will grow:
-40 to 50 feet tall
-15 feet wide

The ten Leyland Cypresses will grow:
-30 feet tall
-10 feet wide

The seven Upright Japanese Maple will grow:
-15 feet tall
-10 feet wide

The six Loropetulem Shrubs will grow:
-5 feet tall
-5 feet wide

Obviously, we had our work cut out for us.

My Dad and sister had planted many, many trees before.

I, on the other hand, in my entire life, had planted zero.

I once tried to plant a honeysuckle bush and it died within 3 weeks.

By the end of Saturday, I felt like a horticulturist expert. We were digging and planting and planting and digging but by the end of the day we were getting so stupid with exhaustion I almost planted Jody thinking she would grow into a dogwood tree.

We were rather ambitious, for certain, but to make it even more ambitious, we also decided to bury about 400 feet in rubber and soaker hoses to help facilitate watering of all of these trees.

So at 6AM Saturday morning, Dad picked up a 2-man auger for digging all the holes, plus a trench-wench digging thing that also took both of us to move around.

After digging all the holes, we created a zig-zag trench all around the yard.

This alone exhausted us, but we were only getting started. We planted all the trees while Dad cleaned off the equipment and returned it (we only had them for 4 hours).

Nancy and I worked up what I thought was a pretty efficient planting system and we just cranked away all day. Dad eventually returned and started burying the hose.
Dad had to leave by 2:00, so that left me and Nancy to finish off burying the hoses and planting the rest of the trees.

By the end of the day, every single inch hurt. I had blisters on my toes from stomping so much dirt.

There’s still a lot of work to do on getting our “Hillbilly Irrigation System” working, but Dad seems determined to get it done this week.

I am absolutely amazed and humbled at how generous Nancy and Dad were with their time and talent. There’s no way I could have planted a single tree without them.

And now, after 10 years of having a barren clay-filled backyard, we’re well on the way to having our own little garden of Eden right here at home.

About the author 


Greg is married to Jennifer. They've got five kids.

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  • That panorama shot is a bit deceptive. I actually took multiple photos with my cell phone, and used photo shop to merge them together into a single photo so you’d see everything at once.

    It’s still a decent sized yard, but not nearly as big as that first photo makes it look 🙂

  • Let the raking begin! 🙂 I only have 16 trees on my property, and yet, for all their beauty and much appreciated shade in the summer… Man, I hate all the leaf pick up in the fall! (OK. The shade does make all of that worth it- but, man… it sure is a time consuming pain in the fall.) Oh no! Wait! I forgot! You’ve got four boys to rake for you! Awesomeness!!!

  • Wow! 39 trees is quite an undertaking. We have 14 on a .3 acre plot and we’d be hard-pressed to add many more. The real question is, did you remember to strategically place two trees near each other for dad’s hammock so that you can lay around and “manage” while the boys are mowing and raking??

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