Friday, October 30, 2009

Why You Don't Send An Anthropologist To Do An Arborist's Job

I’m pretty sure I won’t ever live this one down. What on earth was I thinking?

I was thinking “Pretty!” and that’s about it.

We spotted it a few weeks ago when we went to Job’s Nursery in Pasco to pick pumpkins. I’d been complaining about how dull the fall colors of Richland mostly are and for a long time I’ve been convinced we needed a shade tree to make the backyard, one day, inhabitable during the summer months.

And there stood my answer.

A tall maple with gorgeous red leaves. The sign said “Autumn Radiance” and it was love at first sight. I took a picture so I could remember, in the future, what variety it was I wanted when the time came. The price tag was hefty but at least I knew what I was looking for.

Two days later while talking to my parents about the pumpkin picking, I mentioned this gorgeous tree. Dad told me to get back over there and have them hold it for us; he’d buy it and plant it for us as a Christmas gift. In that short amount of time someone had beat me to the punch but right behind it stood another just like it and we reserved it. I’ll fully admit being a weirdo; I’ve been excited about this ever since. I couldn’t wait to see it out my kitchen window.

Today was the big day. Mom and Dad showed up with the truck and we headed over to pick it up. I was a little disappointed to see it no longer had any leaves; they would have to use their imaginations to know how amazing it was. When I turned to see their expressions when they saw it, I knew there was a problem. My parents looked at it still in the ground and asked each other how they were ever going to get this thing in the backyard. These folks can McGyver anything but they were stumped, pardon the expression.

A tractor fitted with a device meant to scoop up the tree came and hauled it up. My first worry was how it would manage the ride home as a good portion of it would stick out the back of the truck. Ribbons were tied on its branches and off they went. This was, by far, the least of our problems.

At home Dad pulled up to the house. Several attempts were made making use of Dad’s come-along (a hand operated ratchet lever winch) and a huge sycamore at the other end of the yard. In an hour or so (heavy on the “or so”) we were able to get it off the truck but only gained a few feet toward our seemingly impossible goal of the back of the backyard. It was depressing and for awhile there I figured the tree was going to be planted where it lay.

As a last ditch effort, Michael called to someone at church asking if there was anyone we might know with some expertise in the area. Call Shawn Kogan he said. He may have an answer. Michael did and it wasn’t long before he and one of his daughters showed up with a square board on wheels. It took a lot of muscle power and lever action to get it up on the dolly but once it was there, they gained ground quickly. There were a few hang ups here and there but they did it! They actually got that stupid, gorgeous thing to the hole!

After filling the bottom with decomposing leaves from last fall and homemade compost from the farm, we were ready. It looked like raising the flag on Iwo Jima and it was probably the biggest battle this backyard has ever seen. Several fertilizer pellets, lots of water, and some guy wires and we’ve got ourselves a beautiful, upright (thank you very much) tree. Happy, happy me.

1 comment:

  1. The Kogans are the greatest! Always willing to come whenever we need them. Couldn't ask for a better family. =)


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