I can almost hear you screaming: “I suppose you hate oxygen as well!” No. I don’t hate oxygen—I love oxygen. And I appreciate the fact that 28% of the oxygen we breathe comes from trees—particularly trees of the rain forests. (If you don’t know the source of most of the Earth’s oxygen, you will have to do some sleuthing.) Now that I hopefully have you hooked, let me ask you this: Don’t you actually hate trees when Fall arrives and the leaves cascade endlessly into your yard. If it’s not your trees, it’s the trees of your neighbors. Perhaps I’m under particular duress. We have a huge hackberry tree that we planted at the southwest corner of the house 50 years ago. I can accept the cost of the systemic that I have to apply each year to combat the wooly aphid. With reluctance, I accepted the bill of $1050 for thinning the tree a month ago. And I appreciate the shade that the tree provides on hot summer days. But what I don’t appreciate or accept is the mess created every year come about Thanksgiving time—no thanks for giving me all those leaves.
Now you’re probably saying: “Why don’t you simply regard those leaves as valuable additions to a compost pile. First of all, I have no room for a compose bin. Every square foot of my back yard is already occupied. Second, I have tried composting in the past and was a complete failure. Every year all leaves are piled in the street to be picked up by the claw and then composted by someone who knows what he is doing.
Perhaps you think I may of a touch of OCD. You are probably correct. I remember going around the yard with a vacuum cleaner and picking up hackberry leaves one at a time. Well, those days are long gone. I get great satisfaction in mowing up all the leaves that fall on the lawn. I guess I’m just a cleanaholic. Since it seems that’s not all bad considering how much of our waking hours is spent cleaning something—whether it’s your car, your house, your dishes, your clothes, your teeth, or . . . you know what else.
I don’t really hate trees all the time. ‘tiz the season.
Stan, The Not A Tree Hugger Man
P.S. My editor says I’m just a Leaf Grinch.