Thursday, May 22, 2008

Not So Sweet

My neighbor behind me planted a hedge of trees and shrubs a few years ago and they are just now beginning to mature. I saw this robin in one of his trees and took a picture. When I looked at the picture after downloading it on the computer I noticed this tree for the first time. I wanted to scream when I recognized it. It is an awful sweet gum tree! Our next door neighbor in Alabama had a huge one at the edge of their property and those nasty spiny balls fell into our yard by the thousands. Now this neighbor has planted one, possibly two, at the edge of his property. With all of the wonderful trees available, why would someone choose to plant this messy tree, especially on such a small lot?


This morning, before work, I was standing at the kitchen window and noticed my first hummingbird of the season! I didn't see it stop; I think it was just passing through. When I got off work this evening, I made some more sugar-water and cleaned the hummingbird feeder. I'll be watching the feeders very closely tomorrow. Hopefully it'll come back.

I had a little time this evening to fix one container of plants on the front porch. I'm off for the next two days and finally feeling better, I hope to be able to get some other planting and weeding done.

13 comments:

Frances, said...

Hi Robin, so glad you are feeling better. Happy day for the hummingbird sighting. We'll be waiting for that great shot of him feeding! So sorry about your sweet gum neighbor. I really like those trees in the fall with the leaf color, but agree that the little sputniks are hard on bare feet. Are there sterile cultivars that these might be?

Jayne said...

Beautiful Robin, Robin. :c) Glad you are feeling some better.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Birds do like those Sweet Gums Robin. The little balls harbor insects the Warblers like to pick and eat it seems. I can't beleive someone planted two of them though. You will have plenty of them in your garden. Maybe he will be a nice neighbor and pick them up in the fall??. YOu can hope.

Dave said...

I actually like those trees! We had a few just outside the apartment where we used to live. The balls can be a pain but I find the colors to be worth it. There is a sterile kind but I think the leaves are different. I seem to remember some planted on the UT campus. When the balls fall you could use a shop vac to suck them all up. I wonder if there is a type of netting that would direct them all to one spot for easy removal?

mon@rch said...

Maybe the hummingbirds will stick around and keep us updated if they do stick around!

Rick said...

Sweet Gum balls are a pain to deal with. There is a procedure that arborist's can apply early spring to help stop the fruit from setting on. Success rates vary.
Robin, it was probably planted because your neighbor went to a retail place and asked "What is a fast growing tree with good fall color?" Hence, Sweet Gums in the yard.

Amy said...

Very lovely robin photos! I'm so sorry to hear about that terrible tree!

Sherri said...

Hi Robin, I just found your Blog and I have all the same interests as you do gardening and photography! Love your beautiful pics. Stop by my blog sometime: http://sherrisreadingjubilee.blogspot.com. Have a great day!

walk2write said...

Maybe you were given this "thorn in the side" situation for a reason? Like getting to know your neighbor better? Sometimes the "stickiest" problems for me have turned out to be blessings in disguise.

heirloomgardener said...

What great pictures--what kind of camera do you use to get such close-ups?

SuzyQ said...

Arg! I hate those trees! We had some on campus in college and I would almost wipeout on them trying to walk to class. It was really bad when it got icy or snowed but the snow kind of hid the balls and you about fell face first when you walked on them.

I guess, at least, it is good that they are planting something - at least taking some sort of effort to take care of their yard which is more than you can say for many of our neighbors. :(

Debbie said...

Robin, I love your brick birdbath. I'm going to ask hubby to build me one. We took down an old chimney and have all the bricks out back! It is so interesting. Hope you don't mind me "borrowing" the idea.

Kylee said...

I love sweet gum trees! We planted one, and it didn't do so well. We cut it down to about six inches and Romie was going to dig it out when he noticed it growing again. He decided to let it go, and now it looks better than it ever did before. Go figure!