Trees are very much on my mind at the moment. It will be soon time for planting. Last year when my three-month old grandson was born, Pohutukawa trees had started flowering as they do before Christmas. Later towards the end of autumn, we’ll plant a pohutukawa – our gift to celebrate this baby boy’s birth. The placenta will be put into the hole and planted with the tree. In this way his tie will be especially forged to the land. The tree variety chosen will suit our inland situation – and won’t grow as large as the coastal specimens. This tree won’t be planted in isolation – I plan to plant it as part of native grove that will include trees for his cousins and two-year brother. Trees evoke strong natural connections with our life experiences.
My sister planted a Rimu sapling when her son was born three decades ago. Decades ago, my Dad, who saw active service during WWII, planted Golden Totara, inspired by a memorial grove planted in remembrance of local men who did not return. I think it was his quiet way of remembering and trying to restore the land. My sister-in-law has this most wonderful cherry tree – my mother-in-law would have loved the fabulous blossoms and bird life. Each of us has this strong sense of connectedness with the land.
On another note, some tree felling will have to happen soon. A stand of Leyland Cypress were originally planted as a roadside boundary shelter belt about 25 to 30 years ago (well before our time here). As with the row of trees lining our drivewway that we had felled in the summer of 2005, these are on borrowed time and are showing signs of rot. Himself will be able to get his chainsaw out again. Lots of firewood to cut. I’m thinking nature abhors a vaccuum. What trees can I plant?