That is also why he was so excited to read that a local nursery was auctioning off their tree stock to clear it out. Even my ever-frugal son was willing to take his wallet and browse their rows and rows of trees in hopes of finding something special at a great price. Which he did!
Although he bid on several, at the end of the very long day, Steven took home the tallest tree in the sale -- a 20 foot Dawn Redwood! (Yes, I know you're saying, 'a redwood in Kansas?') He got a $400 tree for $40. I loved the tree as well, but was skeptical we could get it home in my old farm pickup!
After recruiting little brother to help with the heavy lifting, and the digging of a large hole, the Dawn Redwood is now securely in the ground behind the house. (My only requests were: 1) don't plant it close enough to the house that it falls on the house when it gets to be 100 feet tall; and 2)plant it far enough away that it doesn't attract lightning to the house).
It is an awesome tree, or will be. One of the very few deciduous conifers, it will actually turn a gorgeous cinnamon color in the autumn and them drop its leaves/needles for winter, greening up again in spring. The area we planted it will give it access to all the groundwater it wants at about 10-15 deep, once established, and we will clear some of the brush tree out of the area to give it more sun. Steven said, "This tree better live 150 years, as hard as that was to plant!" I told him in that case, he better be preparing to put lightning rods on it!
Yes - it stuck out this far from the truck bed all the way home - even with the root ball clear up against the cab of my full-size bed pickup! We just drove slow and took back-roads.
Steven and his younger brother David, after some very hard work getting the tree off the truck and safely into the hole, pretty late in the day. (The boys are both over six feet tall, if that gives you some idea of the tree height!) Some of the leaves have already fallen for winter, so we are anxious to see how it will look out when it leafs out again in spring!
We've done some other tree planting lately, as well, for windbreaks. I will write more about that later.