They’re so cute when they’re puppies: Too bad they grow up to be dogs

Now before all the dog lovers get all steamed up, I’m not casting aspersions on man’s, (or woman’s) best friend. I’m merely making an analogy to trees. Little, cute trees turn into big grownup trees. Reeeally big trees.

Trees grow, like puppies, and as time passes they often get cast aside. Why? Because those who planted it didn’t take into account its natural growth habit — didn’t think of just how big that sucker would grow. Same with dogs. No matter how cute that puppy is, you can’t take it home unless you know you are going to love it when those big clumsy puppy paws are clomping around at the bottom of a way bigger, possibly pony-sized, animal.

Yesterday a big, big old tree got the buzzsaw treatment in my neighborhood. We watched it come down, and we witnessed the branches being unceremoniously tossed into the shredder. All those years of growing, then, because it was a little too close to the foundation (I’m guessing) out it goes. It was sad.

Spruce trees can be gnarly and floppy when they’re old, and this one was no exception; however, it was one of the few conifers in our neighborhood, and standing well above the rooflines, it was probably a habitat to many birds. I am guessing it was originally planted in the 1930s. Spruce tree plantings were the style back then: you see the results all over Toronto — particularly two humungous spruce trees planted on either side of a walkway. Of course now the walkway is obscured, and the trees have been trimmed to allow a footpath through. Just as often you’ll see a big spruce in front of a window, a few feet from the house, the way this one was.

It’s something to think about when you are going to the nursery this spring and see all those perfect little pointy trees in those 10″ pots. Look at the tag where it spells out mature spread and height. Don’t be fooled by that little puppy. Make sure you are really ready for that fully grown dog. It’s a lifetime commitment.

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