What’s Your Significant Tree?

December brings scrawny, spidery trees. Naked trees. Suddenly I’m able to see a neighbor’s house several lots away that was hidden in the thick, green summer.

Trees and their leaves were on my mind when I ran across a leaflet a friend had given me, “Significant Trees” of our town. Our town has “significant” trees? That term so fascinated me that later as I thought about it, I remembered it as “Signature Trees” or “Specimen Trees.”

The brochure listed 15 trees, some from private homes, some around businesses, churches, and parks. The list included almost all different species, so it was an impressive variety, and it also included a map guide to follow in order to see all of them.

I started wondering if I had any “significant” trees in my yard. The brochure for my yard would include my fig tree, of course (for its luscious fruit and profuse growth), my persimmon tree (for its bright little pumpkin-looking fruits that hang like orange bulbs long after the leaves have fallen), and my new birch tree (for its rapid growth and graceful shape).


I’d also have to include my pear tree and little peach tree (for their dripping sweet fruit year after year) and my pussy willow bush for its audacity–it thinks it’s a tree, and grows as big as one.

My Little Leaf Linden on the bank above my house is truly “significant” for just a day or two every summer. It has a fragrance that drifts through the whole yard and can make you stop in your tracks and forget what you were doing. I wish I could capture that heady loveliness and save it somehow. Next summer on the day that I first notice it, I’m going to take the rest of the day off and find a spot to park a lawn chair downwind of it and just enjoy it.

So do you have a significant tree in your yard or neighborhood? And why would it make it onto your list? If you wanted to plant a significant tree, what kind would it be? Do you think there is such a thing as an insignificant tree?



Photo credits:

Persimmon photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/carlos/2565399/”>Nuevo Anden</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

Bare tree photo credit:  <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/skynoir/13193183825/”>Sky Noir</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;



3 thoughts on “What’s Your Significant Tree?

  1. Ohm…. started to write “oh Mary”,but with my computer glitches.. I got “ohm”. I am a tree.My brothers and my sisters, all my relations are trees. I have planted thousands on our family tree farm. As a child I would run through the young pines with my arms out, touching their arms singing ” I love you trees.” Thanks so much for reminding me of those moments.

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