As a child, I loved spending time outdoors when I was home. Playing in the woods and around the yard allowed me to spend time near unusual rocks and trees regularly, closely observing nature’s miracles. As such, I saw the details and intricacies some of them exhibited.
There was a split maple tree with a double trunk in our yard. As I recall it was close to the edge of the front yard, centered in the middle of the landscape design. I spent much of my sitting time underneath this unique tree, like when I was reading or writing.
Now that I know more about trees, I’ve learned there was really nothing unique or even unusual about the one, but from my childhood perspective and then limited exposure to plants and trees, I found it to be special. The bond I formed with this maple has extended through my entire life.
Boulders in the Woods
Another of my favorite locations outside was a split rock at the edge of the woods, just past our driveway, but out of the yard. If someone were laying out that property for a yard today, I have no doubt the split rock would be included in the lawn area. Many are moving large boulders onto their property these days for ornamentation and to enhance a natural, rock garden look.
I could walk up into the split between the rocks, which I alternately used as a stage and a classroom and other various childhood fabrications. Sometimes the adults bought into my fantasies and told me there were fairies sharing the space with me.
Bonding with Nature
I’ve thought about this tree and rock over the years, so I guess you could say I’ve bonded with these elements of nature. My parents have passed, and the property was sold, but the split tree and the split rock remain. I guess you could say they’re an important part of my childhood memories.
I’ve since learned that people often bond with stationary objects in the landscape, like rocks and trees. Research since then has shown that these make us happy and reduce our stress and anxiety. In some cases, our cortisol levels are lessened, lowering our blood pressure.
If you’re considering adding a maple tree to your landscape, plant it in autumn if possible. There are several that grow in the U.S and add striking color to their surroundings in fall. Research the variety you’re planting for any special needs. Generally, well-draining soil and sunshine are the only prerequisites.
Maple trees are adaptable in the landscape, although most have a shallow root system and as such must be planted properly. Normally, you’ll take the sapling from a container. Plant your young maple in a hole as deep as the container. Limit fertilizer when growing this tree. Combining compost with the backfill is a good substitution. Trees that are encouraged to grow too quickly may become weak and develop wood rot or brittle branches.