Americus Times-Recorder, Americus, Georgia

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February 18, 2012

Dwain Walden: February 19, 2012

AMERICUS — I have never celebrated Arbor Day. And I would guess that very few among us even realized that Feb. 17 was that designated day.

No siree, I have never thrown a rack of ribs on the grill, uncorked a keg and planted a tree all in the same day.

Now don’t get me wrong, I do appreciate the fact that lots of people plant trees. Some of my fondest memories are about trees, particularly those in the fence row that provided a shade at the end of a long tobacco row. And those that provided a getaway from a mean old sow that didn’t want me to move her pigs, regardless of my good intentions. And certainly that one the Tarzan vine was tied to down at the swimming hole.

I don’t know much about how Arbor Day came about, and I’m not going to research it. There’s just too much else to do. But I don’t take trees for granted. Also, I am concerned about how fast the Amazon forests are disappearing.

So last week I got a lot of emails about Arbor Day.  I was encouraged to plant a tree, but first I was advised to find out which tree grows best in my area and how to properly plant and care for it.

Now when I said I have fond memories of trees and that I don’t take them for granted, that doesn’t mean that all of my experiences with trees are positive.

One of the emails suggested that I plant a “mimosa” tree. I came up out of my chair and yelled “what the heck!” with such animation that you would have thought they had just announced on television that a politician was returning some PAC money on grounds of principle.

Now perhaps you haven’t had any experiences with mimosas. Yes they are beautiful, but looks can be deceiving. Let me tell you something folks, they could make a movie about mimosas. “The Mimosas That Ate Cleveland” would describe what I’m talking about.

You see I have mimosas on my property. About 100,000 and counting. But at first there was only one. If you look up the word “prolific” in the dictionary, you may also see a photo of a mimosa tree as an illustration.

If you want to get even with someone over some issue, sneak onto his property at night and plant a couple of mimosas. In a few years, he will need a new chain saw and serious forgiveness for the bad things he has said.

When they’re blooming, they are very pretty. My son used to call them the “pink fuzzy trees.” But blooms are followed by seeds and the seeds produce jungles.

Now this email instructed me how to plant a mimosa and how to care for it. Really? Folks you can throw a mimosa seedling in a paved parking lot and it will take root and throw chunks of concrete back at you. I have one spot on my property where mimosas are so thick, a cow with horns couldn’t walk through them.

Another email told me where I can buy mimosa seedlings. I can’t believe anyone would pay for mimosas. Come to my place and I will give them to you with the stipulation that each person takes a minimum of one hundred when he leaves.

One email tells me what kinds of diseases might harm them. I emailed back and asked them to send me five gallons of whatever ailment would work the quickest.

Let me put it another way, if George Washington had chopped down a mimosa tree, he would have bragged about it. He would have gone to a corner tavern, ordered a mug of grog and described each swing of his axe. If you have mimosas and kudzu on your property, you may think of stories right out of the Old Testament where plagues were put on people.

There’s a poem that says only God can make a tree. Well I think Satan made at least one. Other than that, I hope you had a nice Arbor Day.

Dwain Walden is editor/publisher of The Moultrie Observer, 985-4545. Email:


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