My wife and I are growing a zombie tree in our yard.
In early February a willow tree in the front of the house was blown down in a storm. With the help of a neighbor and his chainsaw, we were able to cut it up and stack the limbs until a warmer day to haul away.
Being crafty, my wife put some of the twisting twigs in a large vase.
I forgot about the limbs until late spring when I came across them cleaning that part of the yard. When pulling them apart, to my surprise, there was new growth on one of the larger limbs.
Plants, flowers and general yard dealings fall on the shoulders of my wife, it’s in her nature. I’m just the labor.
Management decided to put the large limb with the small green leaves into a bucket with water.
“It’s like rooting a tree cutting,” she said.
And that’s how the zombie willow tree ended up in our yard.
It’s not a very good looking zombie willow tree, but when does anything back from the dead ever look good?
A recent storm knocked down large trees in the neighborhood, including one not 20 feet from the zombie willow, which didn’t budge.
Where the old willow once grew we planted two small banana plants.
They were the only ones that made the move from our old house along 9th Street. At one point we had nearly 100 banana trees. They all started from one given to us as a house warming gift from my in-laws.
Banana trees are easy to care for with plenty of water, sun and heat. They cannot survive our winter so each fall, they need to be dug up and brought into the basement then replanted in the spring.
It was the hardest two days of work each year. We broke shovels and made a muddy mess of the yard and clothes.
But by digging them up each fall and replanting in the spring, the trees were able to reach full size and produce bananas, albeit small. It took about four or five summers for bananas to appear, however, the tree was done growing after that.
As kids growing up, my wife and I both hated helping with yard work. I’m not sure when we turned into our parents or how it happened, but it did.
We may never win a yard-of-the-month award with a zombie willow tree, misshapen hedges and a mossy hill, but it’s rewarding to see it grow.