I am a tree murderer. Yes, I confess to my crime of cutting down over 20 innocent saplings, who were just yearning to be beautiful maples one day. And I don’t regret it for a moment.
When I finally found the energy to explore the back of my property where all the trees are, I was delighted to find numerous baby trees. I was excited to let some of them grow where they stood and move others to more amenable places to live out their happy tree lives. I even posted them on Freecycle and Craigslist, knowing I could not keep them all. I wanted them to go to good homes.
Then I found out what they really were.
Someone contacted me from a nature center in the area, interested in the trees for giveaways at an upcoming event. I chatted with them for a bit and sent them a picture so they could identify the type of maple I had. I thought they were Sugar Maples, which are the type that produce syrup and are native to this region. Between me and the naturalist, we identified the trees as Norwegian Maples, which are, as you can imagine, not native since they are from Norway. They are invasive to the area, taking up resources that local maples and oaks need.
While my stance on human immigration is quite liberal, my thoughts on plant immigration are not. I cut all those suckers down! Twenty-five invasive trees between one and five feet tall were plucked from my property. While I felt a little bad for cutting down trees, I know I am doing the right thing. And there are about the same amount of white oak saplings, which are native to the area, springing up in the grass next to my driveway. Plus, two of my neighbors across the street offered their baby oaks to me for replanting. I promise that for every illegal maple I mowed down, I will replace it with a nice, home bred oak.
*sigh* Sometimes gardening is full of tough choices.