In nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect.
— Alice Walker
Last week I mentioned an expert’s list of five trees you don’t want in your yard. (He said black willow, gingko, ash, sweet gum and Bradford pear.)
I asked if any of you wanted to add to that list and many of you did. Your votes:
“Willows are perfect for areas with drainage problems,” wrote Rebecca Bresnahan, of Grovetown, “They soak up standing water better than ANY French drain. However, never plant one in your front yard, because that’s mostly where they put sewage pipes. Even very young willows will infiltrate sewage pipes and completely block them.”
Another reader judges magnolias quite harshly. “Shouldn’t say it because of my Southern roots, BUT, the magnolia florabunda is a trash tree of the first order, dropping hand grenades and canoe-sized indestructible leaves far more bothersome than mere sticker balls!!!”
“How is it possible that the beautiful pine tree escaped your list of trees to avoid?” asks John Griffin, of Evans, “especially now, during pollen season!
“Granted, pines contribute immensely to our way of life as a building material, but there are just a few negatives.
“I have long called them the dogs of the plant world. They mess on the ground, the roots that creep into the grass, the gutters that are always full even after you’ve removed the offending trees from your own yard. And please let’s not forget the pollen tracks on the carpet if you’re not careful. Did I mention sinuses? Allergies? Pollen-powdered cars?”
Bill Cravens looks on the bright side. “Let’s make a fortune,” he says. “Janet and I have been using sweet gum balls for years as a ground cover for hosta beds. The slugs and snails have a really difficult time maneuvering over the spikey balls. About every two years we roam the neighborhood, rake and trash bags in hand — harvesting sweet gum balls. ”
MY VERDICT: I say add magnolias to the original list. I had one in my yard that started small then grew higher than the house until the 2014 ice storm knocked out the top third. It messed up the sprinkler system … and those leaves are a pain to dispose.
TODAY’S JOKE: Which I heard yesterday.
Two Irishman were doing some street repairs in front of a known house of ill repute in Boston. They saw a Baptist minister walk into the house and one of them said, “Aye, ‘tis a shame to see a man of the cloth goin’ bad.”
Some time later, they saw a rabbi enter the brothel. The other Irishman said, “Aye, ‘tis a shame to see others are falling to temptation, as well.”
Just then both looked up to see a Catholic priest enter the building.
“What a terrible pity,” one finally said. “One of the girls must be dying.”
Reach Bill Kirby at (706) 823-3344 or firstname.lastname@example.org.