Wednesday, Jun 29, 2016
One of America's Great Newspapers ~ Toledo, Ohio

Kelly Heidbreder

COMMENTARY

Woman seeks new home for Norfolk pine tree

During the 15 years I have been writing this home and garden column, I have received many great tips, family garden secrets, beautiful photos, heartwarming stories, and some bizarre requests.One recent email gets filed under the bizarre- request list.

Sue Tyger of Oregon has a very green thumb, but it has caused a bit of heartache for her — she’s grown a 12-foot tree in her house.

She says, “I received my tree in December, 1993. It was a centerpiece at a Christmas party. It was only about a foot tall. One section of the tree died off within a few months, and the remaining tree just took off.”

She has repotted it a few times over the years, but now, it is way too big for her and her husband to handle. “The last time it was repotted a few years ago, my husband and I repotted it right in our living room on a blanket because it was too big to take outside. It was difficult to work with even at that time because it was so big.”

One common problem many Norfolk pines have is an infestation of spider mites, but not for Sue. She modestly said, “I don’t do anything special to care for it, just water it twice a week. The lighting in our house is just perfect for it. I’ve never had trouble with spider mites. Just lucky, I guess.”

This tree has become a focal point in the decoration of her living room with soaring vaulted ceilings. “We decorate it every year for Christmas, and friends have even suggested that we don’t need a regular Christmas tree.”

But it has grown to be a problem for the couple. “It is so big it has outgrown our living room. My husband retired in February, so we’re thinking about downsizing, so we need to find a new home for this tree.”

So the search is on. She has already contacted the Toledo Zoo, Toledo Botanical Garden, the Toledo Museum of Art, and some area conservatories, but there are no takers yet. “No one seems to have room for it. I want to donate it to someone who will take good care of it and loves it as much as I do. I didn’t think it would be a problem finding a new home, but I’ve kind of hit a dead end.”

Transportation seems to be the biggest problem. So, now it is up to you, readers. Can you help Sue find a home for this huge Norfolk pine? I’m sure many places would love this amazing donation. If you have a solution, send me an email or post it on my Facebook page. With your help, this beautiful pine will be able to flourish for years to come.

Contact Kelly Heidbreder at getgrowing@gmail.com.

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