A local arborist said the lilac tree in our backyard was one of the oldest he had ever seen. It’s fun for me to think of that tree as a little sapling in the backyard, back in the day when our neighbor’s new house was an empty lot still attached to our property. The old lady who used to live in our house had her garden planted over there. Although I believe lilacs only live for about twenty years or so, that tree has seen a lot of changes in this neighborhood.

Over the winter months I noticed a couple saplings sprouting up from the lilac tree’s roots. Being crafty and cheap, I saw a great opportunity to add some more lilacs to our landscape. I ended up replanting two of the saplings – one on the side of the house and one in the front yard. They are such lovely, low maintenance trees. The birds and bees seem to love them. And I recall many May months with lilac blossoms on the kitchen table. Even back in my college days in Eugene, living a life of little structure, my friend Erika and I still had them fill the house in spring.

I am happy to report both of those little trees have taken root in their new digs and doing very well. I am not sure that I will get any blooms from them this year, but they are leafing out and look incredibly healthy and happy. Funny to think that I am breeding a multi generational forest here!

As I was strolling through the garden this weekend, I noticed a tree sprouting in the middle of the sheet mulched yard. I picked it up and saw a cracked chestnut attached to the bottom! It was so cool looking that I brought it inside. Later that day I found another one. I have a hard time throwing out anything that is alive, so I plopped them both into a glass of water. They have been a neat little plant arrangement.

Now that a few days have gone by, I need to decide what to do with them. I am actually thinking about just planting them on the side of the yard along the street. We have some awful, half-dead trees growing there and it would be pretty cool to replace them with chestnuts. Technically that is the city’s property, but since they haven’t gotten organized enough to even put sidewalks into our neighborhood I somehow doubt they will come remove the chestnut trees anytime soon.

Anyone see any issues with this? If not, I think I’ll plant them this weekend… It’s doubtful I will be living in this house twenty years from now when these little cracked chestnuts are lofty, wide-leafed giants. But I like the idea of future residents here thinking about the history of these trees like I often do of our lilac.

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Written by Renee Wilkinson