02 October 2008


When our house was built 15 years ago, did the builders/landscapers choose a nice oak or maple for the front yard? Something to grow tall, provide shade, and showcase some gorgeous fall colors?


The cheap-ass builders at John Wieland (obviously the pre-cursor to the Weyland-Yutani Corporation) picked river birch trees for the majority of our subdivision's front yards. A river birch tree's only function, besides providing shade (it's only pro), is to shed leaves year round and peel its bark like some freak of nature. And in the fall? While other trees are thinking,

Ahhhh. Cooler weather. Think I'll gradually change colors. Maybe a dazzling yellow? Blazing orange? Bright red? And then after admiring my handiwork for a week, I'll slowly drop my leaves one by one.

The river birch is thinking,

Uh-oh. It's 50 degrees tonight. SSSSHHHHHIIIIIIIITTTTTT! FAAAAAALLLLLLL!!!! Time for these leaves to get outta here! Buh-bye!

And all at once, in the span of a few days, piles of brown, ugly leaves are dumped in the front yard. No pretense, no pretty colors, no fall foliage, just leaves. Everywhere.

And this goes on until late November when all the leaves are finally gone. Because even with all those leaves in my yard? The tree still looks like this:

I hate river birch trees.


Dave2 said...

Urg. Not the best choice to be sure. Nicely shaped tree though!

Anonymous said...

I used to love the river birch in my parents' front yard, but I can see how those leaves would be a pain. I still call those trees "gopher trees" because I was convinced a gopher lived underneath it. Upon further reflection, I'm sure it was just a chipmunk!

Avitable said...

Those are the trees with the big pieces of bark that shear off? I love those trees!

Anonymous said...

Our subdivision was built on a field on top of a hill. No trees, which means no leaves to rake up :)
But, dude, still...no trees. I wouldn't mind a couple of nice, tall and shady trees in the yard.

Bucky said...

Cut it down, plant a maple. :)

At least the kids would be able to play in a pile of maple leaves. Those ones you have on the ground, not so much.

Then again, by the time that the maple tree got large enough to create a pile of leaves, your kids would prolly be in college.

jayna said...

At least it's not some gigantic live oak, shedding it's leaves all.freaking.year. Because raking leaves in the summer is so awesome.

Or a damn pine tree. With huge ass pinecones that you have to pick up, and needles that are always everywhere.

Georgia does have some sucky trees :-)

A Free Man said...

It's not as noble or statuesque as some, but isn't hate a bit of a strong word for a poor lil river birch.

(The botanist in me...)

Anonymous said...

I can sympathize. I hate leaves.

Molly's Mom said...

I think my in-laws have one of those trees in their yard...and it has to be taken down soon for some reason.
I sort of miss leaves on the lawn, but know I will regret it when the maple trees we planted a couple weeks ago finally get big and shed all over. Right now we have basically no trees to speak of. Lovely when a subdivision gets put on farmland.

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

Dave2 - Yeah. I'm thinking they must've gotten it on discount.

Mentally Rehearsed - We had a few in the side yard of our old house. Not so bad. Front yard? Pain.

Avitable - Come up here, dig it up, haul it off, and you can have it!

Ashlie - Our old house had no trees and we finally planted a few before we moved. I know what you're saying.

Bucky - I wish.

Jayna - Oh, I end up raking these things all seasons except winter. And you're so right. Those pine trees suck balls.

A Free Man - Maybe "I greatly dislike it?" Better? :)

MetalMom - And the raking of them.

Molly's Mom - True. I know if I cut it down, I would miss the shade. I just hate it in the fall.

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

Gypsy - Oh, I do hate pine trees. What I hate about them is their short, stubby root system that can't stand up to strong winds. So not tornado-resistant.