Saying Goodbye To My Cherry Tree

When I got thirteen years old, my parents bought me a cherry tree as a birthday present. “It is a teachable moment”, they said, “of the importance of preserving and caring about nature and leaving something behind you that will last more than a day, a month, or a year. 

I took their message to heart. The little cherry tree grew by several feet every year to gradually become the largest single item in our garden. Every spring, I would count the days until it blossoms in its perfect screen of white, reminding me that I had also grown up alongside. 

A couple of years ago, I noticed a worrisome sign after a brief rainy period in the spring. Part of the fresh leaves became discoloured and then wilted away when the weather improved. At first, I did not pay particular attention to it. “Well, a few leaves fell off, what’s the big deal?” But then a friend came for tea one weekend and immediately noticed the change. “You must immediately call a tree surgeon”, she said. “Your cherry might have gotten a rot disease.”

I freaked out then and there. After blitz-reading on the topic and finding out that the symptoms of a rot disease almost perfectly matched what I was observing, I immediately called a local tree doctoring company. 

It turned out to be too late. The tree surgeon could not have been more sympathetic, but he needed a five-minute check-up to come up with his conclusion. Rot disease is incurable once it sets on a cherry tree, and within a couple of seasons, it would stunt the growth of the plant. 

I was devastated. But then I decided to turn this into another teachable moment. I bought my 8-year son another cherry tree, just as my parents had done for me, and told him the same thing. Once I knew the reasons for the rot disease, I learned how to prevent them this time around. Life may be a cycle, but it does not mean it has to repeat itself!

Disclaimer: The story was kindly shared by one of our customers, who is now a friend of Poplar Bluff Landscaping.

Posted by Foster John