My dilemma began last Monday afternoon when my husband returned home from Lowes with three or four fruit trees in the back of his truck. For the last few evenings he has been hard at work in the backyard digging holes and planting. Now, I am not complaining about this because trees are good, and I’ve been delighted that he has been occupied and out of my hair. But last night—given his track record—when my husband grabbed a shovel and said, “one more to plant,” I should have known my delight was about to come to a screeching halt.
After about an hour of absence he stuck his head in the door and called out for a glass of water, which I promptly readied, ice and all, good spouse that I am, and then I went outside to hand deliver his drink. I don’t know what possessed me to go out the front door, when I presumed him to be planting in the back, maybe it was some kind of sixth sense, or maybe it was some strange kind of foreboding, but no sooner had I crossed the threshold when I saw my husband’s head bobbing up and down on the other side of my car. I scurried across the lawn, hand over my mouth, and there, four feet from the driveway, was a hole.
“What are you doing?” I asked in my not so nice wife voice.
“I’m planting an apple tree,” he responded. His glance never veered from the hole.
I took a deep breath, and calmly said, “You can’t plant an apple tree there. Apple trees grow huge. We’ll have rotting apples dropping all over the neighbors yard, our driveway, and my car.”
I was sure my logic would persuade him to move it because even a squirrel brain could figure that a tree that grows between 12 and 20 feet high and bears fruit does not belong next to the driveway, but my husband kept digging and said, “Don’t worry about it. When the tree gets that big, and if it produces apples, then will talk.”
I couldn’t believe my ears. “Stop. That tree will have to come down in a few years. We have a large backyard. Plant it there.”
My husband kept digging.
“I know you’re not stupid. (Wink, wink.) Don’t plant the tree there!” I screamed. Loudly!
“The tree stays,” he growled in his deep alpha voice, and I knew he meant it. Then he looked up from the ground and said, “Go back in the house. I can deal with your mental illness inside, but not outside in front of all neighbors.”
Why I thought I could reason with someone whose frontal lobe is obviously broken is beyond me. I had to think of another way, a more clever way to get through to him. Although extremely appealing, removing my husband, over a tree, would prove too costly, and possibly time consuming. And a bout of fisticuffs with a 230-pound gorilla would most likely prove deadly—to me. So, with “my mental illness” in full swing, I marched back into the house and Googled, “what kind of soil will kill an apple tree?”
I feel bad for the little tree, really I do, but it’s either my car and my sanity, or it. And today, I’m headed to Lowes to buy some lime, hide it under the top layer of soil, and pray for root rot. It’s going to be a slow process, so it’s not too late to stop me if you have any other suggestions.