As I knat upon the deck on Sunday, I gazed at the 50+ foot white pine in our front yard.
That tree is testimony to not listening to your wife, also to Smokey's incredible and persistent optimism.
When we bought this place, the area between the house and the lake was clear except for one rather spindly maple and a multi-trunk birch near the water. Original owner had cut down everything except the birch when he built the house. Maple was probably planted later. While we had a good view of the lake, everyone else also had a good view of us. We immediately started thinking about planting a few trees to screen the house a bit.
Fast forward a couple few years. One spring. Smokey asked me multiple times whether I -- the designated gardener in the family -- thought that we could successfully transplant some small white pines from our woods into the front yard. Every time, I told him that the way to do it was to drive a shovel into the ground in a circle around each tree we chose for transplant, about two feet out from the trunk. That would sever the farthest roots and force the trees to develop new roots within that circle. Then, the next year we could transplant them and their newly developed and dense root balls.
Like I said, he asked me that question multiple times and every time I gave him the same answer.
Lo and behold, one weekend in May when I was putzing around in the front yard, he came out of the woods trundling a wheelbarrow with a little pine tree in it. Little = a couple feet tall. After I chastised him slightly for not listening to me, I helped him plant it -- and about a half-a-dozen others -- in the front yard. The biggest one was 23 feet tall.
More than one person subsequently told him, "You cannot bare-root a 23-foot pine tree!"
We watered and fertilized the trees fairly regularly and most of them survived. A couple didn't, and we replaced them with others from the woods on our property.
What you see pictured above is the 23-foot white pine my optimistic husband bare-rooted in the front yard. Which just goes to show that sometimes, not listening to your wife is the right thing to do.