Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A One, Two Punch

This is a Live Oak tree. They are amazing and we're blessed to have 48 of them on our 4 acres, along with several other trees.

They have many attributes. They grow in the poorest, rocky soil. They are drought and flood resistant. They grow 40-80 feet tall and have a canopy that can reach 80 ft. across. They provide amazing shade, homes for animals, and ridiculous amounts of acorns for wildlife in the Fall. They are so tough that living beyond 200 years is the norm and not the exception. I L.O.V.E. my oak trees!
...there is one thing that I do not like about them. They are considered evergreen. In Live Oak terms, that means they hold onto their leaves until the new spring growth pushes them out. The old leaves are very tough and waxy---they do not decompose easily. That means that a sturdy back and a rake must be put to work in the spring in order to save the grass that lives below the trees. I only rake our backyard because that's the only grass we care about. Yesterday, I spent 4 hours raking and gathering leaves. The leaves then were put through a shredder that is a part of my leaf blower.

Then, just when you think the work is over, the tree puts on its pollen thingys (see picture above). They are like velcro and become airborn on the slightest breeze. The windows on the house cannot be opened during this time, because the entire house will fill with yellow-green dust from the pollen.

The pollen is kind enough to gather itself into piles around the outside of the house. It's just that each tree seems to have its own schedule and this cycle can go on for 6 weeks. Just when you get it cleaned up, more finds its way into cracks and crevices.
I guess it's no different than many of the other jobs I do---laundry, dishes, vacuuming---stuff gets done and then promptly undone. At least I can sit in their shade and drink ice tea. I certainly can't do that with laundry.


  1. They are nice trees. I wish we had more trees here. It is going to be so hot come summer!

  2. I'm too lazy for raking and shredding leaves. Makes me so grateful for our juniper and pinon trees we have on our property. The only other trees we have are our fruit trees (apple peach and apricot) and we get so much wind in the Fall when they lose their leaves, that all the leaves blow clear across to Texas (Hey! You seen any of our leaves at your place? lol!)