Friday, June 4, 2010

Let Me Introduce to You, The One and Only..........

Being the avid gardener that I am, I was quite excited last week when I noticed blossoms on one of our trees. Actually there were eight(8) of them! Been waiting for years...literally, for this tree to grow up and start producing!!!

It's always been a favourite of mine since I was a kid collecting as many 'nuts' off the ground as I could. We used these to have competitions in the school yard at recess. We'd dig a hole through it with a nail and string it with a strong cord and tie it at one end in knots so it wouldn't fall off the cord. Then we'd bash away at the opponents' till one or the other broke to bits. It was fun. I must be really old!!!!

The tree of course is the Chestnut Tree. The ones that grow around here are not true chestnuts (I just found out) but pass for them. It's real name is Horse Chestnut (Buckeye)....Aesculus Hippocastanum. 

I planted this one from seed about 15 years ago. It came from the grounds of Ron's and my university (Acadia) which has a few of these gigantic specimens. I've always had a hard time passing these trees in the early fall when the chestnuts are starting to fall without picking up a few. They feel so smooth and new.

So I planted a few and this one 'took'. We've been watching it grow and grow and grow. Much to our chagrin at first because it was starting to shade everything underneath it. If Ron had his way (which is not all the time) that tree would be long gone. But I persisted and here it is today.....with blossoms!!

Lean your head to the right....oops!

It's going to be huge eventually. It is about 20 feet high now and will keep going to about 50.

I love it and it always brings back good childhood memories and my university days in Wolfville, Nova Scotia where Ron and I met. Both are keepers!


  1. I've never seen one! It's a lovely tree and you grew it "from scratch"? You don't ever want to cut such an accomplishment down!!! Cool flowers.
    I have tried growing trees, with little success, the little maple I started in a pot had the tiniest leaves, I suppose because it was in a pot. I forgot to protect it and it froze one winter, think it was 4 yrs old and not even a foot tall. I was thinking a bonzie maple, :-)

  2. It's a great feeling to see something like that grow to maturity.
    Seven years ago, I stuck a "helicopter" in the ground and I now have a 30 foot maple tree in my yard, shading everything.
    I wanted to ask you, my neighbor has had what we all thought was a scrub tree in his yard for years. Even tried cutting it down to watch it grow back. Well, yesterday it bloomed for the first time. They look like yellow tulips. He's calling it a tulip tree. I'm sure there is a real name for it. Have you ever seen anything like it? How big do they get?

  3. I have one growing in my garden but didn't know what was called until now. I didn't plant it (a forgetful squirrel, perhaps) but one day 3 years ago, I noticed it poking out of the ground with its intriguing array of leaves, like helicopter wings. It's still only a little over a foot high but I'm planning on keeping it and see how it develops.

  4. Sharon, a bonzai would be great....keep it small as possible and start pruning away the way you want.

    Stew, As far as I can tell it sounds like a Tulip Poplar or Yellow Poplar (both the same). Scientific name 'Liriodenron Tulipifera'. Another relative to this is the 'Tulip Magnolia' which blooms early in spring. Google either one and see if you recognize it from the pics.

  5. The pics of looking up the tree are fabulous. Again, serene moments. How wonderful to plant a 'seed' and watch it grow. There have been a few seeds I have planted over the years, but moved before watching the tree grow into maturity.
    Your tree really is special and brings you smiles everytime you look at it. :)

  6. jim, you old git!
    thats a big sure its only 15 years old?

  7. John, I'm afraid to ask....what's a 'git'? OK maybe it's 18 years....what's a few years nowadays.

  8. git is a term used in the north of england for a bloke..."old git" usually refers to a grumpy old man!]

  9. Sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me.

  10. We call the nuts conkers & had hours of fun as kids and so have my kids. My dad threw a conker he'd put in his pocket into our garden & it grew - must be forty years old now. The conker was from St James Park London - Dad picked it up on his way to the train station one evening.

  11. What a good big is that tree now?

  12. If I ever get back to the house I grew up in & ask the owners very kindly if I may look at the tree - I'll tell you ! It was a fab garden for children - full of twisting paths, apple trees, places to hide & make camps. I loved it.

  13. I had not heard of that game "conkers" with the chestnuts until a few months ago watching a re-run of the hit British show about motorcars called Top Gear. It seems that "conkers" is experiencing a resurgence of popularity in some schoolyards!

    Top Gear, for its part, played conkers on a grand scale using two old caravans suspended from cranes. Interesting to learn about.

    Beautiful photos. Chestnuts are rare in the Eastern US as a blight ran rampant at the turn of the 20th century and wiped most of them out. How sad a story, but how great to see the trees making a comeback too.


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