This month marks 10 years since we bought our home. I can't believe it's been that long already! When we first saw our future house we were overwhelmed by the overgrown front yard. You could hardly see the house from the street. The previous owners clearly were not into gardening. It's an older ranch style home, but in a great neighborhood and in a great school district. With a 6 month old baby those two things were at the top of our wish list. We could see all the potential the house had and it was in good condition. As we walked through, the owners (a for sale by owner home) encouraged us to look at the backyard. As I stepped onto the deck I was greeted by this gorgeous tree. It was in April then and so this is pretty much what I saw.
This giant Japanese Maple must've been planted right around the same time our house was built over 30 years ago. At some point a previous owner added a large deck onto the house and built it around this tree. When I looked at the tree I could see its branches are perfect for kids to climb and sit in.
All year this tree adds so much interest. In the winter the bare tree holds the snow on it's many branches.
In spring we watch the chartreuse leaves and tiny red flowers emerge as soon as the sun comes out.
In the summer it's the perfect umbrella over the table and chairs when we need a cool place to sit. And in the fall it has the most beautiful color changes I've ever seen. Often I go to the school yard behind us so I can get a really good view of it's shape and colors.
The birds rest in the branches and the squirrels sometimes use it as a bridge to the taller trees. A few years ago we had the pine tree that grows over it limbed up and wow did the maple take off reaching for the sun. If you click to enlarge this picture you can see the lichen and moss that grows on it. I read that seeing lichen growing on a tree is a sign of a balanced environment and clean air. Apparently it won't grow where the air is polluted.
I wish I had a better camera to really capture the whole thing, it's at least 30 feet tall. From what I've read a mature Japanese Maple can reach 50 feet.
I really think this tree is priceless, and I'm so grateful to have it in my yard. How could we have passed up this house with something like this to look at everyday?