“I may be out of my tree, but I thought I’d reason with you,” I addressed the stately oak looming at the edge of my driveway.
In the past I expressed relief, wonder, and surprise when addressing nonhumans as the respective examples indicate: “There you are, scissors! Great hiding place, but I found you!”, “Ok, yesterday there were four of you, frogs. Now there are five. Where are you coming from?”, and “Hmmm, there seems to be some spots on your leaves, wild ginger. Fungus? No, don’t worry. It’s the neighbor’s paint splatters.”
I’ve had my problems with trees in the past (See Post 31“Blackie’s Revenge”) and didn’t want to escalate this situation. I was up a tree and appealed to Bur’s sense of fairness, hence the conversation.
“We have a problem here, Bur.” I swept my arm toward the littered driveway. “You are producing entirely too many acorns! I clear them daily, and they keep coming!”
Being the strong, silent type, Bur didn’t answer.
“Money doesn’t grow on trees, and it costs to hire a landscaping service.”
Bur stonewalled me.
“I understand that survival is your motivation. It’s a basic instinct,” I leaned on my broom and gazed into the branches, “but acorns can’t grow in asphalt.”
Still no response.
“Now, your little ones over there,” I pointed to the garden near the street. “They have a chance. One or two might sprout. That’s how you started. The rest of the crowd offers their services as mulch. Send more acorns in that direction.”
I thought I heard a chuckle, but it was a scolding squirrel.
“Talk to your wildlife friends,” I suggested. “If the squirrels and chipmunks join forces, they could clear off the driveway, have their winter stores, and maybe share with the deer.”
Complete silence descended.
“I’ve heard that ‘mighty oaks from little acorns grow’, but ‘a reed before the wind lives on, while mighty oaks do fall’.” I swept the nuts into heaps and shoveled them into the collection bin. “In other words, cooperate a little.”
A wooden quiet continued.
“Maybe, I can’t see the forest for the trees,” I acquiesced. “You do offer shade for my comfort, food for the squirrels, and homes for the birds.”
A peaceful stillness prevailed.
“I’m going out on a limb here. You’re a messy tree, but I love you anyway.”
An agreeable hush ensued.
“You’re not out the woods yet, Bur.” I admired my acorn-free driveway. “There are weeks before autumn. Slow down a bit with the nut producing!” Then I heard a clatter followed by a bounce.
Bur had the last word.
5 thoughts on “My (Mostly One Sided) Conversation With A Bur Oak Tree”
Great one, Anita!! Luckily no big nut shedding oaks on my lot, but there’s a couple burr oaks at the park & they are producing like crazy this year. I think that would be a nice name for a new baby, Burr Oak, I’ll have to suggest that to the nieces & nephews!!
Thanks for reading! I think you’re on to something with naming the kiddo Burr! Keep me posted!
We could use some of those acorns up on the island. The drought (now ended) stunted all nut growth here and all of the animals are suffering. No nuts or berries and very few flowers. Now that the growing season is over the rain showers have begun. Go figure. I can only imagine what the animals are thinking.
We’re knee deep in acorns. Holding my breath to see what the Black Walnut has in store for us!