Kirby: Worse than its bark

A man doesn’t plant a tree for himself. He plants it for posterity.


– Alexander Smith


I think most of us like trees, and this is the time of year when we marvel again as they begin to bud and bloom.

But some trees can be a bit of a problem.

While looking on the internet for something else, I came across “Angie’s List of 5 Trees to Avoid.”

See what you think.

Black walnut – Yes, they have edible nuts, but their buds, roots and nut hulls release juglone, a substance that harms nearby plants lillies, petunias, some chrysanthemums, peppers, and apple, pear and pine trees.

Bradford pear – They break and split, especially in severe weather.

Ash – They give us baseball bats, but they also are a target for the emerald ash borer, a beetle from Asia that showed up here after the millennium.

Gingko – One of Augusta’s oldest trees is a gingko outside the Old Government House. They can be very pretty. But in the fall “female” gingko trees have a pretty overpowering putrid smell. I used to walk past one every day in college and that’s why I remember it most.

Sweetgums – They’re OK until those little sweetgum balls start falling. They are the biggest nuisance in my yard next to fire ants. A scientist could make a fortune if he found a good use for sweetgum balls.

Your thoughts? Did we miss any?


TODAY IN HISTORY: Augustans were alarmed a century ago, March 1917, with the reported arrest of a German operative,

John Hartong, identified as a former German army officer, was taken into custody in New Orleans for illegally entering the United States, The Chronicle reported. It was discovered he had been living at the Augusta YMCA under the name C.H. Murphy and had plans to the Augusta Arsenal in his belongings.


LET’S HELP: Bill Baab, my longtime colleague down here at the newspaper, would like your help.

He is looking for family photos from the Augusta area’s commercial swimming holes; i.e., Lombard’s Pond, Wilkinson’s Pond and Dean’s Bridge Bathing Resort, Gregory’s Lake, Getzen’s Pond and Carolina Springs .

They can be e-mailed to him and he can have copies made, or you can give him a call at (706) 736-8097.


TODAY’S JOKE: A judge was curious about the attorneys practicing in front of him each day, so he called up a lawyer he knew and asked this question: “How much would charge me to answer three questions?”

“That would be $500,” said the lawyer without hesitating.’

“That’s pretty expensive, isn’t it?” chuckled the judge.

“To be sure it is, your honor,” the lawyer said. “And what might your last question be?”


Reach Bill Kirby at (706) 823-3344