We were sneaky. Before we put our first house on the market we dug up a Japanese maple that we had planted in the back. We planted it right around the time we got married and it was an offshoot plant from a gorgeous maple that grew in John’s parents’ house (the only house he lived in for his entire childhood which has since been sold). So it was kind of double-meaningful with the whole “wedding tree” and “John’s childhood house” connection. That’s why before we sold the house we figured we should dig it up and put it in a bucket and move that bucket right along with us. But since we moved in December, it wasn’t exactly planting season. The whole thing was touch and go from the beginning, and by the time we finally got around to planting it (about seven weeks after we moved since there was so much snow going on and the ground was frozen) we worried it was d-e-a-d.
But we planted it anyway, and watered it a little, and did the whole cross-your-toes-and-eyes thing.
So when spring rolled around and this other maple on our property looked like this…
… and our poor tree still looked like this…
… we really feared the worst. It had tiny buds on the end of each branch which had been there since we planted it in the winter, but they weren’t changing. Boo. But at least it didn’t look rotten or completely dead. Just sort of dormant. So we decided to leave it alone and see what happened. John even suggested that maybe it would somehow miraculously bloom next spring or something after a year of “rest.”
Then the other day John came inside after mowing and looked me in the eyes and said “guess what?!” Then he paused for dramatic effect for what felt like ten minutes while I guessed things like “you met a talking Squirrel” and “you found buried treasure.” I was dying for him to just spit out and and he finally said “the maple…” and I screamed “is getting leaves?! it’s alive?!!!!” and he nodded. Little guy up and grew some gorgeous little red leaves for us:
The whole thing culminated in my running outside and chanting “Go maple, it’s your birthday, go maple…” which eventually evolved into “Grow maple, grow maple, grow!” And I think the new neighbors might have heard me. Way to make a good impression $herdog (yes, that’s my nickname to myself that refuses to catch on). But really, who can’t relate to dancing and singing for the miraculous growth of leaves? Ok, nevermind. Only now do I realize how strange that reaction was. Hindsight is 20/20.
I guess things could still go south (we did recently learn that leafy branches can up and die in record time), but the new growth seems like an awesome sign. And it will be amazing if we can glance out the window and actually see our gorgeous wedding maple from John’s childhood home chilling in the backyard for years to come. Oh what the heck- GO MAPLE, IT’S YOUR BIRTHDAY!
Woo hoo! Get down with your bad self $herdog!
yay for the growing tree!!
Stephanie Phillips says
It will make it! I believe!
We have a pitiful little Japanese maple on our property that I was sure had died last season. Lo and behold, it has sprouted leaves again this year and seems to be thriving. I’d always heard that maples are very finicky trees, but apparently not yours or mine!
Emily @ Awesomania says
What a beautiful tree… we had a similar issue with an elm tree that we planted when my father died. But eventually it took root and it is now much taller than the house. Good luck! I hope it keeps growing for you!
YAY! Happy day!!!! GO MAPLE! GO MAPLE!
My mum once planted a walnut that was sprouting a bit. A few months later, nothing had happened so she decided to abandon the experiment…. but when she dug it up it was growing! So she covered it up again. This sort of thing went on for years… she’d dig it up thinking she’d killed it, only for it to still be going strong under the soil. Then the dog knocked it over and all sorts of other calamities befell it. But it kept growing… slowly but steadily. We called it “the little walnut tree that could”.
LONG BORING STORY SHORT: Your tree is the little maple tree that could.
And I liked your song, $herdawg.
Aw that’s so cute. The little walnut tree that could.
oh my gosh you bought made me spit water all over my desk with the whole $herdog thing and the Go Maple it’s your birthday….haha. We actually call my aunt sharon Sherdog! and I have sang that birthday song from time to time…not about maple trees of course. My husband and I just planted 10 teeny tiny little Eastern White Pine trees….they are little seedlings and I sure do hope they make it……crossed fingers!
Sarah for Real says
I love plant miracles! I have a story about yellow roses in my garden… http://wp.me/pRf7R-pe. It’s wedding themed as well!
Mary Sterck says
looks like a japanese maple. I think the name is blood good. I have one in a container and it can go through a hard winter also. You can cut it back in Feb. and shape it as you like it. I live in Germany but our weather is very similar to Richmond but really more like Maryland. I thought the same with mine but it pulled through and is now surviving. Good Luck. It is always special to have a tree like that and Clara will always remember the story behind it. My parents had a red maple in Connecticut that we all bought for my mother for mothers day and after they died and the house was sold, us kids always remembered that tree and all the picnics under it and the hammock tied to it. Enjoy!!!!!
Yay, go maple!
hahahaha $herdog. love it.
Yay for the growing tree!!! Our next door neighbor is an elderly gentleman and we haven’t met in the six months we have lived in our home, but I have heard him laughing at me.
Must have been something to do with, ” Please, please poop I am so tired and I just want to sleep and I can’t if you don’t poop…..” Then I heard hysterical laughter, must have been the desperation in my voice. I was exhausted from the flu and the dogs were not cooperating with me.
Oh man, that would totally happen to me too. Love it.
Future Mama says
Haha, oh, you make me scared now! I have had the same conversation with our dog and I just know the neighbors can hear me!!! No loud laughter yet, though, ha!
Cait @ Hernando House says
OHMYGOODNESS! This! This is why I don’t talk to our dogs in the backyard! I would die!
LOL! This would be why I have a doggie door! I love a dog who takes himself out!
Jamie B. says
My mom used to praise our dog so much as a puppy when she “did her business” that it got to the point that if she was just sniffing around taking too long, my mom would say, “Good girl, GOOD girrrrrrl,” in a baby voice and the dog would instantly pee, lol. I’m sure she sounded nuts to the neighbours too.
i just laughed out loud at this thread. ESPECIALLY jamie b’s story.
sarah @ handbagsnpigtails says
Hahaha…you crack me up. $herdog.
That just made me tear up! Darn hormones.
You say it’s your birthday… da na na na na
Tanya from Dans le Townhouse says
Awwww. So sweet. So happy for you that your little tree lived. Yay!
Go Sherdog! Yeah, that’s not going to catch on. But the bigger news is, this is your first blog entry I am reading on my brand spanking new iPad. That’s what is getting causing me to get my groove on today!
Go Janice, it’s your birthday!
How funny to read this. I have the SAME tree and a similar story!
The house I grew up in had a beautiful mature maple in front. When I bought a house, my father gave me a seedling from the tree. I planted it, but ended up moving (with a new husband) to a bigger house. I dug up the tree and we planted it in front of our new house. I didn’t think it would survive, but it did and now 8 years later, it’s absolutely beautiful. Funny thing … Just after I moved to my new house, my parents’ tree which was probably 50 years old just died! So, my tree is all that is left. I sometimes look around hoping it has a little seedling so I can give them one for their new house, but nothing yet.
Anyway, love the story!
Ashley @ DesignBuildLove.co says
SOOOOOO excited for you guys! I totally would’a dug up that tree too! Sentimental to the max! How wonderful though that you were able to take the tree with you. And how beautiful is it becoming?!?!?
I was so sad to tear out our Maple, but the dummy old-homeowners planted it right under an overhang of the house. Totally bummer!
That tree is going to be gorgeous!!! And Sherry… don’t feel bad… I’ll sing with ya… GO MAPLE, IT’S YOUR BIRTHDAY!
Rebecca @ the lil house that could says
I think $herdog is more appropriate than Sharnold, given the recent string of events in the Governator’s life. Though I thought it was adorable that Katie Bower called you Sherbert today :)
Cait @ Hernando House says
I thought so, too! :)
Oh $herdog. You know that once you put it on the internet, it’s forever, right? Of course, I have no room to talk. There have been quite a few nicknames of mine that have floated around over the years…
If I had been in your position, I would have called my dad to replant it. The man is a plant whisperer. No joke. Hoping a little of it can rub off on me eventually. We got some moss in terrariums. I figure that’s an easy way to start, since I definitely killed our love fern.
I have been singing and dancing for a magnolia tree in our backyard. When we bought the house last summer the contract said that the sellers were taking it. So I waited for them to take it – figured it was their wedding/childhood tree or something. But this spring I decided it was really mine. And then it didn’t bloom, and I thought I had killed it for sure by neglecting it last year. So we started watering it every night and literally begging for it to bloom. Two weeks ago my husband gave me that look – our baby has a bloom. It died after a day or 2 (sad face). Just got another bud this week, so I am still singing for my magnolia and hoping for a miracle.
Great, now I’m doing a weird little chant for your magnolia. It goes like this (feel free to join in): We need a miracle- a magnolia miracle! We neeeeeeeeeed a miracle, of the magnolia kiiiiind!
Yay! My parents planted a maple that started blooming in the gutters (our neighbors have one that overhangs onto our garage, and one took root in a puddle), because my mom thought it deserved a chance. We call it the “Gutter Tree”; it’s now 11 years old, huge, and thriving, so hooray for maples and their life-sustaining powers!
Missy G. says
Aww, yay! Go, maple!! I am one of those dancing/singing fools, too. That maple felt the love, I assure you.
Where is the maple planted on your property? Just curious if y’all can see it from a window in your house.
It’s perfectly viewed from the big window in the living room (we planed it along the back of the grassy area in the backyard that leads to the wild area beyond it). So glad it has leaves now so we can see it (back when it was just a stick it sadly blended in).
Gah! Just peeped Clara’s monthly picture…she’s getting so big!!
Ha! So effing fantastic.
Grow maple, indeed. :)
Cait @ Hernando House says
Grow Maple, it’s your birthday!!
Now you’ve got me wondering if we can transplat the oak treat that sprouted up around the base of one of our big oaks in the front yard. Hmmmmm.
To $herdog, You totally made my afternoon! From, Bethany, aka (only by me), DJ Bizness Cash’yall
Ohmygoodness, please start commenting under your DJ name from now on. Hilarious!
I double dog dare you to take a boombox out there every day and play classical music to your maple-that-could. I mean, come on, it’s scientific and everything :-p
With a self ordained nickname like $herdog do you think it should be classical? I was thinking old Run DMC stuff…
Please stop making me laugh really loud at work!! I’m kidding…maybe I should be more productive! :)
I love your stories. You guys are great! And Grow Maple, It’s your birthday..
We are big “tree lovers” at our house. My hubby is a tree & shrub specialist for a living. Our sons,now 19 & 20, have grown up learning to identify insects, trees, & tree diseases. Last year, shortly after his high school grad, our youngest son gave my husband a sugar maple for Father’s Day & shortly after that my son had a sugar maple leaf tatooed on top of his foot. He said it was to signify the “changing season” of his life & that it was time for him to “grow & mature.” I wasn’t that crazy about the whole tatoo thing, but how could I argue with the meaning of the tatoo & the bond between my husband & son?!! The tree is my hubby’s baby & gets lots of TLC while our sons are away at college.
Shannon Ballard says
I love that your son did that…my children are only babies but I can only hope that something that our family loves will inspire them.
Rebecca Foxworth says
Happy for the maple. And to know that Sherry has a hip-hop tag. Fab.
YAY for living trees! Congrats on not killing it. Totally merits singing and excited chanting, in my opinion. ;)
Alli B. says
No, No, No, Sherdog, you are not the only one who sings to your trees. We just relandscaped our front yard and planted a beautiful, fat little blue spruce pine tree. I haven’t named him yet like you name all of your stuff but will do that later. Anyway, about a week after planting him, I swore he was dying, but upon tearing a few of his branches (mean, I know, but I had to check his vitals), he was still green on the inside. We won’t know till next year if he is alive or dead, but every day I water it, I say little happy chants in my head, like, “Grow, little buddy, GROW!!!”
P.S. I LOVE your blog!
LOL at trying to get $herdog to catch on. That reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where George tried to get everyone to call him T-Bone. HA! I too tried to get my friends to call me a cool nickname. All I wanted in life was to be called Cee Cee but unfortunately the name Peanut started to stick instead. :-(
Yay! Maybe there is hope for my poor little gardenia bushes after all!
And you guys are adorable, just so you know.
LOVE GROWS! Enjoyed your afternoon post! So sweet! I’m kind of sentimental like that as well.
When my Grandmother sold her property we transplanted to our family home a few of her prized tea roses which later moved on to my niece’s house after the birth of her baby girl… Emma Rose. She receives a rose bush each year for her birthday…and is now six! A very lovely garden in her and Grandma’s honor continues to grow!
Something similar happened to my family.
My parent’s house has two trees in their backyard that were planted when the house was built. One year one of the trees stop growing and didn’t produce any leaves so we thought it was dead. Thankfully they didn’t get rid of it because two or three years later it started growing again. It’s now huge and has these really pretty tulip-looking blooms in the spring.
We’ve also had an apple tree keep growing after my dad kept hacking it down with the lawn mower because he thought it was a weed of some sort. It lasted a few years before it eventually died on it’s own, no lawn mower involved.
Sherry, you absolutely crack me up! :)
Kate C says
oh, $herdog… I was so excited reading about your excitement that i am in my desk throwing it down to your maple as well. i make even bust out my infamous friday song and dance (my was totes before rebecca black’s…. and even more pointless)… sadly it’s the best celebration dance i got.
Grow, maple, grow, maple, GROW! grow, grow, grow! maple, maple rap!… am i taking this too far yet?
Not yet. Keep going!
“Grow maple, grow maple, grow!” Bahaha, that just made my day :)
I have very similar reactions when I see my plants growing back in the spring. We lost about 5 of our lily plants, so seeing the other 15 come up, grow nice and big, and finally start producing buds (and some flowers now!), makes me happy! We lost a tree last summer but its replacement is doing very well. Glad your tree is too!!!
not a ridiculous reaction at ALL. my plants are my children, basically. when a giant storm that knocked over my jasmine trellis and flooded the plant’s soil killed half of my jasmine, i refused to give up. i kept taking care of it, pruning back it’s dying leaves and praying. and whaddaya know. now it’s growing again, happy as can be. and you better believe i just abut cried when i saw signs of new growth. i’m happy for you guys!
Lindsay L says
Sherry you’re funny. I know everyone (by everyone I mean y’all) says that John is the funny one but I officially think you’re funny. :)
I always describe John as “funny-haha” and myself as “funny-weird.”
Meghan, UK says
Hail to the funny ladies… I too am a plant singer and dancer and my garden is definitely not screened enough for the neighbours not to notice.
Plus, funny-weird is the way to go. That must be why so many people blog…
Charlotte | Living Well on the Cheap says
I think you are the funniest person on the Internet.
Grow little maple grow! :)
I do NOT have a green thumb…or ring finger, or middle finger, or…you get my point. So, regardless of the color of my fingers, last week I decided that I wanted to try and grow some veggies along with some flowers from seeds. My hubby and his bff made fun of me as I busted out some flower pots, soil, and gardening gloves…..but I still carried on. They basically told me that it was WAY too late in the season to start growing anything like that from seeds. But guess who looks dumb today??? Not me, that’s for sure. I went home on my lunch break and WA-LA! TONS of sprouts in those little flower pots! I’m soooo excited! Especially since the seed packets said it would take 30-60 days to see any growth! Nothing better than watching something grow because you took the time to love and care for it. Kinda like babies…. :-) Happy planting!!
Kristen @ Popcorn on the Stove says
Glad the maple started growing! My parents have a Japanese Maple in front of their house and I love the way the leaves look (that purple/red color). Maybe this one will turn halvsies like the other one!
So glad it survived!!!!! Yay tree!!
[email protected] says
I love that your Maple tree came back! We took a rose that we had planted together from our old house…it’s the anniversary rose!