When we moved into our house, 10 years ago, there were many, many (many) trees in our yard. Most of them I could identify . . . but one of them. . . I could not.
It looked like a cherry tree.
But a GIANT cherry tree.
Cherry-looking leaves. Cherry-looking bark.
But no blossoms! And no cherries!
So, it just became a big Mystery Tree. Right in the middle of my backyard.
Every once in a while, a big limb would come down. Tom had to do a lot of pruning to keep the branches off the roof. It was not really much to look at -- kind of misshapen and all. But it provided nice shade, and was not a high-maintenance tree at all.
Until last year!
Last year, for some weird reason probably known only to tree experts, the cherry tree blossomed in the spring. And then . . . cherries. LOTS and LOTS of cherries.
Turns out it was a black cherry tree. And . . . What. A. Mess.
Late last summer, I had cherries EVERYwhere. We tracked them through the house. We tracked them on the carpets. My patio was covered with purple juices and purple bird poop. The birds had a field day, sure. But. . .the cherries dropped into my pond. The water turned purple. The fish and the frogs died*. It was a mess.
When I would tell people that the tree had never produced fruit in the 9 years we'd been at the house (trust me -- I'd remember!), they'd just kind of look at me like I was nuts. But tree people tell me that a diseased/dying tree might have a "last hurrah" and try to reproduce like crazy before it's last gasp. I think that's what my tree was doing -- trying to create a new generation of black cherry trees.
Anyway. I couldn't have a mess like that again. So, like George Washington, I cut down that cherry tree! (Actually, I didn't do it. But I had it cut down about a month ago.)
I hate cutting down a tree. . . but this one was, suddenly, a problem!
Now, I have new problems. Like . . . a lot less shade in my backyard. (I had the tree guy leave a sizeable stump. I'm going to do something garden-y with it. Although I'm not quite sure what yet.)
My biggest problem now, though . . . is this . . .
I have millions and millions (and millions) of cherry trees sprouting up everywhere in my yard and gardens! My garden beds are loaded with tiny black cherry trees!
Fortunately, they are easy to pull. But it is a never-ending task this year -- and one that will keep me busy all season long.
Because. . .
It's the pits!
* Black cherry pits contain cyanide. The fruit is safe to eat; the pits are not. My pond was LOADED with cherry pits. My fish and my frogs, sadly, didn't make it.