...a young girl and her tree watch each other grow...

In April of 2000, when Kelly was in First Grade, she and her classmates were given little trees to plant by the Webster Groves Men's Garden Club. Each Green Ash tree was wrapped in a yellow plastic bag to keep the roots moist. Kelly's tree was left in the garage and forgotten about for a few weeks. In May we found the tree and planted it in our backyard hoping that it would replace a Sweet Gum tree that had died a few years earlier (we certainly don't miss the sweet gum balls; or as Kelly's youngest sister Kerry would say "meatballs").

Everyday Kelly would walk across the backyard and check to see if her tree had started to grow. Each day she was disappointed. She was worried that the tree had died from being in the garage too long. The tree didn't look too healthy at this point - it looked like a twig stuck in the ground. Kelly's parents encouraged her to keep the faith and give the tree a chance to adjust to its new home in our backyard.

On Kelly's birthday, May 24th, something magical happened. Her Dad called her over to look at her tree where she saw, much to her surprise, the little tree had begun to grow branches! Kelly was so excited as were her sisters and parents. What a very special birthday present this was.

Each year we take a picture of Kelly and her tree to show how much they have grown in the previous year. We also put mulch around the base of the tree and trim the nearby hydrangea plants to keep them from crowding Kelly's young tree. It's one of life's pleasures to watch Kelly and her tree grow and mature.

All Images Copyright © 2000-2004 Robert P. Anderson
- Click on Image to Enlarge it -
Kelly 7, Tree 3 months
2000 Pic (121K)
August 2000. Kelly was 7 years old. Her tree was about 3 months old. The tree has doubled in size and is nearly as tall as Kelly.
May 2001. Kelly was 8 years old and posses with her youngest sister Kerry. Her tree was about 1 year old and has grown taller than her! Kelly 8, Tree 1
2001 Pic (158K)
Kelly 9, Tree 2
2002 Pic (101K)
May 2002. Kelly was 9 years old. Her tree was about 2 years old. Tree is growing taller and wider.
May 2003. Kelly was 10 years old. Her tree was about 3 years old. Tree is now more than double Kelly's height. Kelly 10, Tree 3
2003 Pic (151K)
Kelly 11, Tree 4
2004 Pic (142K)
September 2004. Kelly was 11 years old. Her tree was about 4 years old. Picture taken on the 2nd day of autumn after a dry spell.
May 2005. Kelly was 12 years old. Her tree was about 5 years old. Tree is looking as good. Kelly 11, Tree 4
2005 Pic (142K)

Green Ash is a medium-sized tree distributed throughout the state along streambanks and in moist bottoms. It prefers wet soils but is adaptable to a wide range of site conditions. It has been used for urban plantings, windbreaks and land reclamation. Many varieties of Green Ash are available commercially.

Attributes: An excellent shade tree, the Green Ash is extremely popular, especially in the Great Plains, and in cities and high-use parks throughout eastern United States. This popularity is due to its fast growth, marvelous adaptability to a wide range of soils, and ability to withstand drought. Like White Ash, its close relative of baseball bat fame, Green Ash has wood that is tough, elastic, straight-grained and very strong. Most oars and canoe paddles are made from Green Ash wood as the lighter, more useful White Ash wood is becoming scarce and thus expensive.

Related Links:

Green Ash Trees -
Webster Groves Tree Ordinaces
Webster Groves Tree Manual and Standards of Practice
Tree City USA - National Arbor Day Foundation

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Copyright © 2000-2005 Robert P. Anderson