Group 6 1 minute Read


Lauren Zerbey

In an effort to increase its urban tree canopy, Seattle started reLeaf, a program that gives out free trees to homeowners. This year, our neighborhood was one of the target areas, so we jumped at the chance to score up to three free trees (say that ten times fast). Today was the scheduled pick-up date and despite the crazy, crazy rain we’ve had all weekend, we hopped in Orange Crush (our beloved ’74 work truck) and went to pick them up. Along with free trees, we also got free watering bags, a planting tutorial from Earth Corps volunteers, and free donuts. A win-win for sure.

There were half a dozen or so species to choose from and after much mulling we decided on an Italian Plum, a Red Oak and a Katsura (which supposedly smells like brown sugar in the fall!).

After we got the trees home we made final decisions about placement and got to digging. Bailey was of course elated about the prospect of dirt and rain.

We decided to put all three trees in the backyard (which is still in need of a lot of TLC). We have one Italian Plum (above, middle) already, but it’s not looking so hot and hasn’t produced much fruit since we’ve lived here, so we’re anticipating its imminent demise. Tree #1 to the left is the new Italian Plum and tree #2 to the right is the Red Oak. (Tree #3, the Katsura, is planted along the fence  closer to the house.) All the trees came bare bulb so they’re supposed to be heartier and more resilient to death by human (a good thing for us).

Eventually, we’d like to plant a few more small trees and do some actual real landscaping. Maybe 2011?