I planted a tree the other night…I started about 8 pm and finished sometime after 1 am. I gathered all the tools I needed, got a hose hooked up to the water, and started to dig the hole. Now according to my standards, it was a pretty big tree, about 9 or 10 feet tall with a root ball diameter the size of a very large pizza. The directions for planting said to dig a hole about twice as big as the pot and the pot was twice as big as the root ball. That’s a big hole!
It was a definite challenge. Digging is very difficult for me without putting my “back outta wack”, especially if I have to lift anything from the ground, like big clumps of grass, lots of big clumps of grass, each one holding onto a big heavy clump of soil.
With the help of four breaks-going back up onto the patio, sitting down with my feet up, catching my breath, and about a half gallon of iced tea, I did it. I piled all the grass clumps and all the loose dirt from the hole onto a huge plastic garbage bag laid out beside the hole so I could move it easily after I was finished. HAH!!! Did I ever fool myself… After I put the tree in the hole, filled it in with a mix of dirt and potting soil, tamped it all down and made a little trench around it, I grabbed the edges of the large black plastic bag to drag that big dirt pile away so it wouldn’t get wet and muddy when I watered the tree. That’s when I realized the pile weighed at least ten tons (well… not really, but it may as well have). I could not budge it.
I surveyed the situation and remembered the next morning was garbage day. Bad back or not, I needed to get rid of all that grass and dirt. So I grabbed my shovel and proceeded to scoop it into a large garbage can on wheels that I’d laid on its side next to the dirt pile. I figured if I could get at least part of it into the container then maybe I could drag the rest. I did manage to get about half of it into that can, and with humongous effort lifted it to an upright position. Then, grunting all the way I sort of wheeled and dragged it to the curb out front for pickup the next morning. It was HEAVY!
I still couldn’t lift or drag the other half of the dirt pile, so I rolled the huge City garbage can around back, laid it on its side, and began shoveling the remainder of that dirt pile. I did it the same way I’d done the smaller one, scooping, tugging, and grunting just as before as well. Finally got all the rest of the pile into the big container. Lifting it back to an upright position was considerably more challenging than the smaller one, but once I accomplished that, it wheeled easily out front.
By the time I got all finished and watered my new tree, I was totally spent. My legs were shaky, my back ached as did my arms, knees, ankles, and even my fingers and it was all I could do to clean up and flop into bed. I slept like a baby!
The new tree is a Crataegus Crusader, a type of Hawthorne. In the spring it will be covered with tiny white flowers. Its leaves are rich dark green and shiny. They look a lot like Ivy. Many of the branches hold little clusters of tiny marble shaped berries whose color is light gray-green kind of like Granny Smith Apple’s. When I woke up this morning, it was smiling at me.