Friday, April 24, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Perfection and carnage at the library tree sale

DebraDeAngeloW

By
From page A11 | March 17, 2013 |

Lesser angst has occurred over matters of life and death — unplug or not? Leap or stay put? Red pill or blue?

Me, I had to pick out a tree.

Just one tree. From hundreds. That all looked identical. Situations like this set my borderline OCD whirling. Pick out one tree from all these? It’s like putting a mental patient in a round room and telling her to find the corner.

Oh, she’ll try. Yes, she’ll try.

So, I’d wanted to go to the annual Winters Friends of the Library tree sale for years, but two things always hindered me. One, I always had some other prior commitment; and two (mostly two), there isn’t room in my yard for a wee marigold, let alone a tree.

As it is, the figs, cherry and pomegranate trees are fighting for dominance over the lemon, mandarin and grapefruit trees, all of them dwarfed and overly shaded by three towering and ridiculously messy albizias (but the hummingbirds and little honeybees love them so), and there’s one lone persimmon desperately trying to writhe free of a gargantuan butterfly bush. The entire jungle is woven together by honeysuckle vines clinging to everything they can grab and strangle, and spreading across the ground so thick that not even a stray dandelion could take root.

Not an inch of bare ground anywhere. Until the day my husband finally accepted that his beloved hops vines were never going to grow where he’d planted them. Such disappointment. He’d lovingly constructed an elaborate support structure for them made of two massive tree spikes intended to support 10-gallon trees and two barbed wire posts able to withstand a leaning steer, all to support the two frail, wispy green threads gingerly spiraling up a network of rope, wire and string clear up into the branches of the albizia overhead.

This is what happens when engineers are allowed into the yard.

Writers, on the other hand, would’ve simply waited until the hops were long enough and just pinned them to the fence with twistie-ties. Ironically, in the end, both strategies would’ve had the same result. Those hops had no chance under the dark umbrella of the albizia, and never even got as tall as the fence. So, Joe reluctantly dug the rhizomes up and I replanted them along a sunny wall. If they decide to grow after all, I’ll throw them through a coat hanger and hook it to the rain gutter before The Cutest Man In The World decides to engineer something again.

With the hops relocated, I suddenly realized … there’s space for a new tree! And I knew just what I wanted: a lime tree. I never seem to have a lime when I need one for a recipe. Off I went to the WFoL tree sale.

But they were sold out.

Full stop.

I was determined to plant a tree. Right that very moment. There was no time to drive to Vacaville or Davis and search for a lime tree. It had to be now. (See borderline OCD, above.)

I wandered amongst a few farm trailers full of bare root trees to see if some other kind of tree spoke to me. The signs on the bins said peach, plum and cherry, but they all looked essentially the same – bare-naked baby trees. The pressure was on. I had to pick one out. Make a snap decision. I don’t do snap decisions. It can take me 10 minutes to pick out a toothbrush.

I drug a few well-meaning WFoL volunteers past each and every trailer, and asked 10,000 questions — Does it need pruning? Fertilizing? A pollinator? Space? Light? Air? How big will it get? How wide? Will it be a round shape or a cone shape? Can it hold up a nice little wind chime, you know, a tinkly one, not too loud or obnoxious, maybe about yea big …

And then of course, I’d turn around that to find that the volunteer had slyly slipped away to help someone — anyone — else. No worries, there were a lot of volunteers.

Finally, I decided on a pear tree, because my husbie loves pears and I felt bad that his poor, stupid hops were never, ever going to grow, no matter where they were planted. Having chosen the type of tree, the next big decision was to determine which, in this entire bin of identical bare-naked baby pear trees, was the exact perfect one. And you know that I pulled out each and every one, and examined it from top to bottom and back again. Finally, one stood out: a perfectly balanced, sweet little tree, with three slender arms stretching skyward. Yes, this is the one. This is my tree.

As I headed toward the check-out booth, one of the volunteers I’d exhausted earlier remarked, “Never in the history of the world has anyone spent that much time picking out a tree.”

“I know,” I replied proudly. Perfection takes time.

He directed me toward one of the local farmers who was pruning the trees before purchase. Oh, lovely, he’ll clip any little straggly twigs. I handed him the most perfect little pear tree in the world. He eyed it for a second, then picked up his loppers and bit right through the middle of the trunk. The slender little arms tumbled to the ground.

I choked on my own gasp.

He just shrugged and grumbled, “That’s the only way it’ll grow right.”

He handed the mid-torso amputee back to me, and I drove home in a daze of shock and horror. I spent the rest of the afternoon digging the perfect hole for my perfect new, er … stick. That hasn’t produced a single leaf yet.

Hmmm. I have to wonder. Was that farmer telling me the truth? Or did those WFoL volunteers put him up to it just to get even?

— Email Debra DeAngelo at [email protected]; read more of her work at www.wintersexpress.com and www.edebra.com

Comments

comments

Debra DeAngelo

.

News

 
Water and power have a troubling interdependency

By New York Times News Service | From Page: A1 | Gallery

New design submitted for conference center

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Los Angeles march to commemorate Armenian killings

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Hostage deaths a reminder of risk of ‘deadly mistakes’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Bob Dunning: Fairness is an afterthought for them

By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

 
Got bikes? Donate ‘em!

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Need a new best friend?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Beginning tai chi classes start May 5

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

College Night set April 30 at DHS

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Walkers head out three times weekly

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4Comments are off for this post

Tour of co-ops precedes Sacramento conference

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

 
School board hears report on health services

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A5

Explorit: Celebrate International Astronomy Day

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
Learn basics of composting in Woodland

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

Mamajowali will perform at benefit house concert

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
BeerFest expands to include cider

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

Winkler Dinner raises funds for enology, viticulture activities

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8 | Gallery

 
Raptor Center welcomes visitors at May 2 open house

By Trina Wood | From Page: A8 | Gallery

Take a peek at region’s past at Tremont Mite Society’s social

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8 | Gallery

 
Mapping where human action is causing earthquakes

By New York Times News Service | From Page: A9

Hummingbird health: Appreciating the little things

By Kat Kerlin | From Page: A12 | Gallery

 
.

Forum

Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: B4

 
The fight for gender pay equity

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

 
Thanks for supporting the arts

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

Bike Swap another success

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

 
Drink is a tasteless insult

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

It’s a depressing beat

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
.

Sports

Reeling Blue Devils stop skid against Sheldon

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Aggie Spring Game environment will up the gridiron fun factor

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Rare DHS track loss still full of highlights

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
Lehner talks about the UCD student-athlete experience

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

 
DYSA roundup: Lester, Osborne lead Storm over Dixon

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

Lady Demons’ fundraiser a smash hit

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Pro baseball roundup: River Cats lose their fourth straight

By Staff and wire reports | From Page: B12

.

Features

.

Arts

 
‘Ex Machina': The perils of playing God

By Derrick Bang | From Page: A10 | Gallery

Ceramicist works will be featured at The Artery

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
.

Business

Chamber expands Korean sister-city opportunities

By Felicia Alvarez | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Car Care: Tips for buying your first ATV

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B6

Subaru goes rear-wheel drive with sporty BRZ coupe

By Ann M. Job | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

Valente Forrest Dolcini

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Whitney Joy Engler

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Comics: Friday, April 24, 2015

By Creator | From Page: B5