Friday, August 26, 2011

He Wants To Do My Tree

Barbara: The other day I was tending my garden and I happened to notice a few city workers out front planting a tree on a neighbour’s property. I don’t know about you guys, but in Toronto we have a tree-planting program whereby any homeowner can ask the city to plant a tree on what is considered the “city property” part of your yard, and they will plant it for free. It’s a great incentive to keep propagating a healthy, vibrant tree population.

So, anyway, I see these guys out front and I want to ask them about the aging (and possibly dying) maple at the base of my property (is it at risk of dying soon? will it keel over? will it drop branches on our neighbour’s car? etc). 

I tentatively approach the first guy to walk past my driveway without his hands full of vegetation. I know he could easily tell me to wait my turn, or call the office, or just f*ck off (he’s with the city, remember), but he doesn’t. He follows me to the tree, listens politely to my concerns, expresses his moderate opinion and makes me feel better. But here’s the thing: he spends the entire conversation trying not to stare over my shoulder at the copper beech tree that takes up much of my backyard.

I begin to feel like that woman who’s in the middle of a conversation with a guy when he suddenly sees the most beautiful girl of his dreams. It is love blooming before my eyes. And who can blame him: that tree is one helluva sexy, sultry, and exotic species.

And can I also add how cute he is? Cute in that way that some people are when you can see in their adult faces and demeanours the kids, the babies, they once were.

I couldn’t stand between them anymore. I call him out on his flagrant attraction and then offer to introduce them. He doesn't need to be asked twice. He approaches like one mesmerized. He covets and reveres. He admires and fawns. He very carefully and respectfully touches, pointing out her singularities, her idiosyncrasies, her sensitive spots.

Then he starts to describe what he wants to do to her. He knows what she needs, what she wants. She needs pruning, suckering and cording. But he will be gentle, discreet. He has the skills, he assures me, to treat her right. He will use only the most dexterous moves, only the best paraphernalia.

He hardly looks at me as he tries to convince me, telling her as much as me (maybe more than), just how much she will thrive and flourish under his attentions. It is, without doubt, the most tender and honest seduction I’ve ever been third-wheel to.

He actually says it in so many words: he really really wants to do her. Later when he meets my husband, he tells him the same thing. Oh, and also that he wants to film it. Um, okay, more on that later.

Hey, this is our tree’s best suitor ever. Will we give him her hand?

How can we not? Just don’t ask me to watch.

Deb: Besides the fact that I adored this beautifully written tale of a romantic tryst, I could not help thinking that this was probably the gorgeous Barbara’s first time being a third wheel. I am sure you have never felt the sting of someone looking over your shoulder at another. Take it from me, for I have been the tree and I have been the shrub. I have also been the lovely perennial you buy in the spring, forget to plant and are forced to use as mulch come the fall. Do not cry for me though as I have been the tree many times in my life and with this husband of mine, I am always made to feel like the tallest leafiest tree in the forest. But trust me. dear readers, this tree of Barb’s is something to behold. Robin Hood would worship at her trunk. I have never seen her like. 


  1. I loved this seductive description of a cute City worker being struck by a tree!!! It made me laugh and I thought it was adorable. You have a gift writing Barb. It really came alive and I, for one, would like to see that movie!! Maybe you could post it on a later blog.....

  2. Mary-Jo, you know what? I kinda have to try and pist that video, don't I? Will keep you posted!

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  4. Seduction by tree. I love it!!! And what a great idea that Toronto does; planting trees on "city property" portions of homes! What a great idea! US needs to get on that! :]

  5. Kelly it is wonderful. They care for your front yard trees and replace them when needed. I had them come out in the spring to inspect our tree which is old and slowly slowly dying. I chose not to have it done right now as we love it and it is hanging in but they gave me a brochure with 42 varieties of trees to choose from with full descriptions.

  6. Barb- Hilarious! You do have one sexy tree!!! There must be a follow-up post!!!!

    Deb - I'm still chuckling about your forgotten perennial analogy. I can't imagine that you ever were in that situation! I'm glad your husband continues to make you feel like the tallest tree.

  7. Oh Yes Tammy, I have had my mulch moments. Builds the character, doncha know!

  8. Thanks for putting a smile on my face Barb, I needed it today and that worked wonders. I can honestly say it's the first time I've ever heard such a love story and I'm never going to look at a beautiful tree the same again.

  9. I'm just tickled that you guys got a kick out of this one. It was one of those funny happenstances I was praying I could convey as cutely and funnily as I saw it happening. The whole thing just tickles me!

  10. Awww...this read like it was straight out of a romance novel!!! :)

    P.S. Love the idea that Toronto has. Great way to spread nature's beauty!

  11. A funny, lovely post. I really enjoyed reading how the love story unfolded. And Deb's analogy about being a tree, a shrub and mulch was great. We've all been there, haven't we?

  12. What a fabulous, detailed telling of a love story between a boy and his tree! He'd better treat her right! :)

  13. Wow. The idea that a male can treat anything besides his remote and 400' big screen tv is impressive in itself.

    Barb: The seduction analogy is perfect. Made me giggle lots, as did those pics, you sly devil, you.

    Deb: If I may add, even a shrub gets trimmed occasionally. ;)


  14. Holly, it's a great incentive, isn't it? Molly, I absolutely know what that's like! Beth, I know he will treat her right. And Dawn, okay the line about the shrub getting trimmed gave me my laugh of the day :)

  15. A great story, and so very well told. You both have a wonderful way of writing that makes me smile every time I come here. :)

  16. My favorite landscaper used to caress the tops of the shrubs as he and I discussed what to do that week. He was as in love with them as I was.

    I was right there with him and his proper equipment, doing your tree along side him.



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