Let’s Give our Dead Tree to a Hobo | Obviously

This is what happens when you ask a bright child a simple question – you get sucked into some vortex where “kid reasoning” makes good sense and you end up regretting the question and inevitably rethinking the outcome.  This is why we should all just talk to our children less.

“You wanna pick out a new tree with me, this bougainvillaea has seen better days?”

“Sure, but then where are we going to put this bougainvillaea?”

“Honey, this tree has been dead for like 2 years.  I think, I’ve given it ample time to prove me wrong.”

“SO, you’re just going to throw it away?  Just like that?” Said with hands on hips as if I’m throwing away the cat for puking up a hairball.

“Um yeah, drama queen.”

“Nooooooo, (sob sob), gosh they go from calm to melt down mode fast, you can’t throw it away mom.  Why don’t you give it to Haiti.”

My 7 year old daughter seems to think that the people in Haiti need everything, down to a lone left over piece of pizza. 

Seriously, you're freaking kidding me right?!

Like with leftovers, I imagine the shipping on a tree wouldn’t be very cost effective.  I also imagine the look on some poor Haitian child’s face when he eagerly tears into a package from the US containing a slice of old pizza or in this case, a dead tree.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m so glad some of what I’ve been preaching about charity and giving back is sinking in.  However misguided her suggestions, her intentions are good.

“OK honey, I can’t send the tree to Haiti, so who am I giving it to”

“Someone who needs one.”

“Someone who needs a dead tree?  Should I put it on Craig’s List?”

“No mom, someone less fortunate.”

“You mean someone without a dead tree?  Maybe a person who can’t afford bad landscaping?”

“That’s not funny mom.  I mean, like a hobo.”

"Hey guy on my left, why no belongings?" "Because I don't have a stick or branch. If I just had a tree all my problems would be solved!"

Ahhh,  a hobo – a word commonly used in the early 1900s and for some reason, also used by my children.

“Yes those homeless folks or should I call them tramps, could really use a tree.  I mean, since they’re known for carrying all their belongings in a ‘kerchief sack, we should give them a whole tree, so they would never run out of branches to tie their sacks to.”

“I just don’t want the tree to be left somewhere to die. It deserves better!”

That actually does sound sad.  I mean, what did the tree ever do to me, other than try to provide shade for my family and produce beautiful fuchsia flowers?

Maybe, I can send it somewhere?  Maybe 2 years isn’t enough time to leave it on life support.  Maybe I shouldn’t pull the plug.

What do they call a tree doctor?  A taxidermist?  No, that’s not right.  An arbordermist?  Something like that.  I should call one.   If it were a palm tree I could call a palm reader.

Jenny, get a hold of yourself.  You’re not calling a tree doctor, but I did enjoy that joke.  Pull it together and stay tough!

“You know what?  Maybe we could have them make the tree into mulch.  They would chop it up and then put it around other trees.”

“Nooooo don’t chop up the tree.” Said as if I were suggesting some form of painful tree torture.

“Why, that seems like a lovely option, that way the tree could keep giving.  Like the giving tree.  Oh G-d, The Giving Tree, what a moving story…  Anyway, his mulch could feed other trees and the Earth.  How beautiful (sob sob) the circle of life and all.”

“NO!  When Buddy died did you chop him up and feed him to other dogs?”

“OK, you’re right… We keep the tree!  It belongs here with us, it’s our ugly, unflowering spikey dead tree.  Even if it’s on it’s last limb, which it is by the way… it’s OURS!”

This may seem a bit premature, but if there are such things as debate team scouts out there, you may want to hold a spot for the year 2022.

22 thoughts on “Let’s Give our Dead Tree to a Hobo | Obviously

  1. Karen Baitch Rosenberg

    Oh god, Jenny ~ I LOVE this one! What a great mom you are ~ the comparison w/your dog ~ her reasoning … brilliant.

    1. Jenny from the blog Post author

      Wendy- here here. I’m ok with bums, homeless, or my new suggestions for pc terms for them: habitat impaired or domestically challenged. (thought the last term sounds like a heading I would easily fall into!)

  2. Rachael

    i think you should replace it with a similar tree….while they are at school. when they notice…tell them you gave the tree vitamins and it got healthy again.

  3. Rebecca

    I hate to admit it, but I too have issues with plants that may come back to life miraculously. I hear people say that a bush or tree looks bad so they are going to take it out (do they put a contract hit on it?), but I can’t. It’s a life even it is an ugly life.

    1. Jenny from the blog Post author

      Rebecca- I’m with you. I once asked the landscaper to pull what I thought was a long weed. He said, “are you nuts, that “weed” will be a royal palm on day” About 4 years later it’s no joke, 15 feet tall. Who says they don’t need a dead tree?

  4. Bari

    I love Ryan’s heart!!! Nothing wrong with a little hobo landscaping. Even the “occupy movement” likes to do it in a park.

  5. Barry

    Funny story. You’re making a wonderful decision passionately saving the tree. Your daughter should be proud. She would probably be more proud if you saved all the dying trees in the neighborhood. A wonderful gesture. On Halloween your landscaping, or lack of same, would be a hit with everyone except you homeowners association.

    1. Jenny from the blog Post author

      I think my dead tree, which is the focus of my landscaping is already the bane of my homeowners association. Let’s not forget the oversized furry spider that has been in it since LAST Halloween because my daughter made a great argument then about how much it must love it’s comfy home and how could I take it away. I think I should get a new tree and see a therapist.

  6. Deirdre

    At least you won’t have to worry about paying for her to go to college … all the money you’re saving by not replacing dead trees will offset whatever the debate scholarship doesn’t cover!

    1. Jenny from the blog Post author

      Deirdre you are so right, those trees are freakin’ expensive although college it too, I hear. Rayna- I remember going down that road, though I found it easier to tell my kids I would send the stuff to starving kids than to explain how it would spoil on the way. Africa… here my half eaten food comes.

  7. Rayna

    When I was young, and didn’t want to finish my food, my dad would tell me there were starving kids in Africa. I told him to send him the extra food.

    Needless to say, that didn’t work either.

  8. Jenny

    At least ‘hobo’ is term people can relate to when you’re talking about a homeless person or bum (b/c let’s fact it, there a lots of non-homeless people who could be called bums), but WTH is an ‘urban outdoorsman?’ That term is taking political correctness a little too far if you ask me. Are we really that concerned about their feelings?


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