The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is now.
When we moved into our house 15 years ago, the backyard was a steep, grassy hill. I didn’t have to mow it too many times before deciding a wooded backyard would be a lot more fun. I was right! Little by little I have replaced grass with shade trees.
One summer about 10 or 12 years ago, I was mowing the grass and dreaming of a shady yard. The idea to have a majestic pin oak tree in the middle of the yard seemed like a good idea. These are the beautiful and mighty oaks that you see in the older Charlotte neighborhoods that are probably hundreds of years old. Not too long after deciding to put an oak tree there, I fortuitously noticed a stray pin oak seedling coming up in my bushes. Having the dream and now the tree to fulfill the dream I waited for cooler weather. That fall, I moved the seedling to the chosen spot. While planting it, I distinctly remember thinking to myself, “One day, my grandchildren will swing from this tree.”
This week, my dream was fulfilled when I hung a swing from that very tree. My grandson , who is just over a year old was visiting so I picked up a baby swing and some rope and the rest is history. This was the second swing I have hung from trees in the yard. The first one was for my granddaughter and hangs from a maple tree that I also planted. I cannot fully explain the depth of feeling I had watching both of my grandchildren swinging together from swings I hung in trees that I planted.