A Heroic Tree

“A Heroic Tree”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 


We don’t often think of plants as being heroic, but we have a cherry tree that saved our house.  During Hurricane Katrina, we had five big trees go down. Luckily, they all fell parallel to the house except one 150 foot pine tree, but even that tree missed the house because of our Kwansan cherry tree.  It deflected the big pine tree just enough so that it missed the house and ended up just hitting the corner of a gutter.  Unfortunately, the cherry tree was damaged, and had to be cut back.  With everything going on and debris removal happening fast, the cherry tree was just cut back to about two and a half feet.  It quickly started sprouting new growth, but was not very attractive.  I wanted to cut it back to the ground and let one of the suckers take over, but dear hubby wanted to keep it and give it a chance.

Kwansan cherry trees only live about twenty-five years, and ours is about thirty-two now.  It has never really recovered from that falling pine tree.  Every year it has fewer and fewer flowers with this year having the least.  I think this will be the last spring this particular tree gives us these beautiful pink flowers.




The little pink powder puff flowers that usually cover these trees are a welcome spring time addition, but  I think it is time to say good bye to this particular heroic little tree.  I know we can get a replacement tree for this area, but it just won’t be the same.



  1. Janet said,

    April 7, 2009 at 5:10 am

    Nice tribute to a tree Jan. Those blooms are gorgeous.

  2. April 7, 2009 at 6:24 am

    You’ll never know, Jan. This hero might turn out to be a surprise and surprise you for few more years. He’s isn’t just another tree. He’s a savior and survivor! He’s endowed with lovely flowers.

  3. Phillip said,

    April 7, 2009 at 7:16 am

    It is so pretty!

  4. nancybond said,

    April 7, 2009 at 7:17 am

    Don’t give up on him too quickly — what a great story. Maybe some extra compost and fertilizer will coax him to stay around for a few more years?

  5. Brenda Kula said,

    April 7, 2009 at 9:51 am

    What lovely pink flowers! I’ve never seen that kind on a tree before.

  6. Jean said,

    April 7, 2009 at 10:58 am

    How sad! But it was some hero and probably had a very good life. At least you have a record of its blooms and its life.

  7. donna said,

    April 8, 2009 at 5:22 am

    I actually teared up reading about the brave “powder puff” tree. It’s always hard to cut down a tree, but this one will be especially difficult.

  8. Jan said,

    April 8, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    Janet, I wish I had a picture of this tree when it was in its glory. It was wonderful.

    Chandramouli, hubby and I talked about it just last night, and he still doesn’t want to cut it down. I, too, don’t want to cut it down since it was so heroic, but I think if we do cut it down, one of the suckers, which is about five feet tall, might take off. At least we would have one of its children.

    Phillip, it certainly does have lovely pink flowers.

    Nancy, I am sure this tree will get one more year, but I am afraid it is on borrowed time. I’ll try the compost, though, that is a good idea.

    Brenda, they are not supposed to grow here, but this was bought long ago at a “small box store” and I guess it didn’t know it wasn’t supposed to do well this far south. We have one in the back yard, and it, too, seems to be in decline. I think it goes back to the life span. That is probably why you haven’t seen it.

    Jean, I really will miss that tree if we do cut it down. Nothing lasts forever, I guess.

    Donna, you are right, this small tree was doing so well and was a stand out in spring time that I will miss my brave little tree.

  9. RobinL said,

    April 8, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    It’s time to let go of your heroic tree, it seems. It served it’s purpose, and now it’s letting go. Amazing. Let one of it’s little suckers take over, and it will live on.

    • Jan said,

      April 9, 2009 at 4:24 am

      Robin, I know you are right; it is just a matter of convincing dear hubby. I think he might be coming around though.

  10. Sherry said,

    April 10, 2009 at 5:44 pm

    Oh, I love these beautiful trees! We have a cherry tree but not like this — ours has only single flowers. Hopefully, yours will live on or at least one of the suckers will.
    I need one of these trees in my yard! 🙂

    • Jan said,

      April 10, 2009 at 5:46 pm

      Sherry, I am still trying to convince dear hubby to cut down the main tree and let the sucker take over. I am hoping to convince him soon.

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