I can just see him shaking his head and reminding me, "Now there's not one thing wrong with that tree."
I've already had the argument with him in my head. I always come out the loser in the debate, but hear me out. Among my complaints:
- It's a favorite perch of birds who consider my car their personal latrine.
- Coupled with a mighty oak just a few yards away, its canopy prevents any sun-loving plants from thriving;
- It's harbored at least some of the squirrels who deflower my tulips every spring.
- Worst of all, it produces gazillions of sticky balls every year.
They're all over our neighborhood, these Sweet Gum trees. I suspect they were part of the woods when the subdivision was platted because no one in his or her right mind would actually plant the things where people plan to live. Why they didn't cut them all down is beyond me.
All I know is that we looked at our house in the winter and I didn't notice the sticky balls or we may have ended up with a different address.
I discovered that the trees can stopped from bearing their terrible fruit, but you have to get to them when they're young. This one has to be more than 60 years old.
We'll have the oak tree and a magnolia still in the front yard along with some scrubby bushes that were also in place when we took occupancy. The bushes may be my next victims, but it's taken me 11 years and a promise to stop pushing (at least this summer) to install a deck or patio to get Jeff to agree to the demise of the sweet gum.
So come Monday, June 22, the nice men from Complete Tree Care are coming to take the tree away. I'm trying to come up with a way to put some of the wood to good use just so I can stop hearing the sound of dad's voice.
On the other hand, it's kind of nice to hear it again.