Saturday, April 16, 2011

For Tender Plants Only



For decades John's Nursery at the outskirts of town had been known to conscientious homeowners and developers. His promising shrubs, conifers, blossoming and fruit trees and reliable maples and ash had adorned many properties.

The acreage at his establishment had spread with new and different yields for a successful business. John knew well, and he had trained staff well in plant feeding, cultivation, pest control, grafting and other basics of the business. Orderly rows of species stretched right back to old lines of farm trees bordering the west and north limits of the original farm. John had often marveled at the size, girth and straightness of these old sentinels of the nursery. They had stood the test of time. It had seemed to John that they had needed next to no care. Probably some pruning, fertilizer and topping off would be advisable, but it had not happened. Meanwhile he poured the care upon his many saplings.

There had been little warning of the early spring storm which hit the Township. Winds at a tremendous force, driving rain and amazing hailstones. Darker skies than the residents had seen for over a generation. The border trees at John's Nursery had cracked and toppled one by one. The saplings, left exposed to the full force of the westerly attack were decimated. The business was in shambles. The insurance adjustment would prove a nightmare.

And all, perhaps, for sake of those old trees left untended.

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