At dinner one night a few weeks ago we were discussing this pitiful tree and trying to figure out how to help it. I'd broken off a twig earlier and we saw it was still green; other neighbors reassured us that it had buds and they were sure it would grow...eventually. Anyway - knowing it still had somewhat of a lifespan we had to fight for, we were brainstorming on how to help it. I offered up the best and only advice I knew of from 6th grade...talk to it. Only you have to talk to it close up and in a really breathy voice that expelled a lot of Carbon Dioxide - this would make the tree grow. I suggested to the kids that they start to talk to it on a regular basis.
We have two good listeners. Over the next few days while waiting to get in the car for errands they would run up to the tree and talk in this new manner to it and say how much we loved the tree and how it needed to grow and get big like the other trees around it. One day I came out and even found Jake hugging the tree. Okay - I decided we were maybe taking it to the extreme at that point. Jake and I headed to Lowe's to seek some professional advice. They suggested fertilizer spikes, then just go ahead use the rest of the spikes to fertilize the other healthy trees and they'll grow "like maniacs". I believe those were the salesman's exact words.
In the meantime we've continued to talk to the tree. In fact, leaving the house yesterday Mike was delayed in getting to the car and the kids were hopping to get going. He casually - as if it were an everyday sentence - said, "Go talk to the tree." Most kids get sent to talk to the dog...we send ours to talk to the tree. Anyone have the name of a good therapist?
But, whatever it was...the spikes, the extra water, or the extra love - our tree finally had some buds start popping open. Now our next problem: only half the tree has opening buds. The other half is still quite stubborn.
However, across the other half of the yard we have all new problems that I don't think are solve-able. This tree decided to grow "like a maniac" - meaning it's literally crazy.