A Good Home, Trees

Home is Where the Trees Are— A Guest Post

My thanks to Georgeina Knapp for this lovely story.

And to Hamlin Grange for the Photos.


I love trees.

Big or small, deciduous or evergreen.

Blog Photo - Trees Woman hugs tree

There were always trees around our house and to me as a child they seemed very large and very old.  Maybe that’s why I felt so safe around them.

Three old maples stood along the edge of the lawn, like sentries between us and the world.

Blog Photo - Trees three trunks in autumn

Another maple grew at the corner of the garage and along with a giant lilac bush and a cedar made the space between the house and garage a cool quiet, shady haven.

A monumental old apple tree shaded a portion of the backyard and held one end of our clothesline.

Blog Photo - Trees and Apples

A pear tree stood between the apple tree and the house but it met an early fate when its branches snagged onto the clothes line full of laundry — one time too many. My mother did not give anyone many chances — not even a pear tree — if their behaviour didn’t improve.

One tree was special. I loved that tree and our relationship lasted for forty years. ‘Relationship’ may seem a strange word to use about a tree. But this one had a personality and we even had a sort of communication. (I had always been a rather odd child.)

Blog Photo - Trees of Various kinds

The relationship started when my father took us children to the wooded area near our house to pick wildflowers, as he did every spring. This time I found a tiny seedling.

“What is it?” I asked my father.

He explained that  it was a baby cedar. It would grow into a tall tree.

My four year old mind didn’t quite believe it. This was something I had to see for myself.

The baby tree was dug up, carefully brought home and planted in a flower pot.

Month after month, year after year, the little tree flourished. It was eventually planted outside, next to the lumber pile. It grew steadily but was soon in danger from growing too close to the lumber pile so my father moved it to a spot near our back door.

Even through the hot, dry summer days, my tree stayed green.

“That’s no surprise,” my mother pointed out. “It’s close to the well. Its roots have a constant source of water.”

The tree grew fast and was soon as tall, then taller than I. At Christmas we always put lights on it. The first year it held only one light, then each year a few more lights would fit until we had to get more strings of lights to cover it.

Blog Photo - Trees and snow 2

I worried about my tree when ice and snow covered it. If a branch got damaged, I suffered with it. On warm summer days I fussed over it, checking for insects and brown spots.

I loved the beautiful cedar scent.

The years went by.  After my parents died, I had to sell our home. It broke my heart to leave the home I was born in, and to leave my beloved tree.  It was nineteen years before I could return to see our home and my tree.

The house was there but Tree was gone. There was no sign that it had even been there. 

Except in my memory.  I have never forgotten the seedling that grew into a big, beautiful tree and was my friend for decades.


25 thoughts on “Home is Where the Trees Are— A Guest Post”

  1. I LOVE trees!! They are great listeners, a source of calm, energizing and so welcoming to hug. I can’t imagine living anywhere without trees.

  2. I have a similar favorite tree, my father planted a Gingko seed when I was six years old, I sold my parents house almost 5 years ago and that tree is still there. I think and hope! Thanks for the story.

  3. Thank you everyone for your kind comments. I’m a beginner when it comes to writing, but I’ve found it’s easier to write when you care deeply about something, especially memories of home. Once again, thank you for your encouragement.

  4. Oh what a beautiful story. We had a wonderful orchard when I was a child growing up .. It was a very special place. Sadly the house is still there but the orchard has gone. Thank you for sharing this ..

  5. Your story touched my heart. I too love trees and had a similar thing happen to a white pine seedling I planted for my oldest son. We transplanted it twice when moving, but it was too big the last time. Every year it grew and grew. It was the most beautiful tree in town. Everyone loved it. Then one day we drove by and it had been cut down. Broke my heart and my now grown son still rants about it being cut. We definitely had a relationship with that tree. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful story. 🙂

  6. This was so sweet, and I can truly relate. Someone moved in and probably saw it as “in the way” or as some call them, “trash trees”, not knowing it was a tree of gold in a little girl’s heart. At least she got to nurture it and watch it grow. How wondrous.

  7. What a touching story, Cynthia! I can relate to having a relationship with something like a tree. I had a money plant that I’d had for almost 8 years and each time I had to travel for more than a week, I would leave it with my friend so she could care for it. Last March, I had to go back home to India on a family emergency and my friend was also away. I couldn’t find anyone else to hand it off to, and when I returned after 3 weeks, despite putting in one of those glass watering bulbs, the plant was withered and close to demise. I couldn’t revive it and to this day, I’m filled with remorse when I look at the empty pot it once was in. 😦

  8. Beautiful story:-) Thank you for sharing! I have an “old Gal” in my yard now ( older than I am), so I can relate to a relationship with a tree..I am still having them:-) They are protectors:-)

  9. Lovely post.
    I do think one can fall in love with a tree, much like an animal.
    I think I would be too afraid to return if I ever permanently leave my place, partly because of the trees.

  10. This reminds me of a post I saw recently with the theme of trees and sidewalks; the sidewalks were installed with deep respect to the trees that were there first. Lovely post; I have loved trees since I was a child.

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