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A surprise tree planting

image DSC20095.JPGWhere did that 6 + meter palm tall tree come from? I remember the wife mentioning something about buying a couple of large trees but I didn’t pay much attention. Then she had me digging a hole in the ground. OK, I visualized something about 6 feet tall, and I do like trees – and she did get a good price on it.

About 8:00PM an army of Thais, maybe 12 to 14 strong, showed up with the tree in the back of my pickup. It had been uprooted just up the way – about a 1/2 kilometer away. I can’t really estimate the weight of the tree, but the ensuing planting fest made it clear that its weight fit into only one category: heavy. One thing became obviously clear, the hole previously prepared wasn’t big enough. One of the Thai workers quickly enlarged the hole to about 1 meter wide and 3/4 meter deep. The root ball of the tree was about 2.5 feet in diameter. It was carried in and righted and the dirt was filled around the base. Three wood supports were nailed in place to add some security while the roots are getting established.

Personally, I am of the ‘let it grow’ naturally category, ie. plant small seedlings and let them fill in. Often, as with this house, you can get a number of small plants free from friends and neighbors, like banana trees. However, if you would like some large trees planted in your newly finished house – all that is between you and your desire is a few measly baht. The cost in this case which I’m told was a special deal was 1,000 baht (+ 200 worker tip for whiskey) since the tree came from close by here. Oh and there was to boot a second tree of about 6 feet tall included in the deal. I would guesstimate that a nursery price on a full grown tree would be easily 3,000 to 5,000 baht.

In this particular case, this ‘tree’ is really a group of 3 palms which are joined at the base. This clumping is what you get from natural growth as opposed to be raised in a nursery. Immediately after the planting the trees are not really standing ‘straight’, (one of the trees does come in contact with the side of the house) but I’m told that the tree will adjust naturally to position itself to the sun and straighten up. We’ll see.

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