Stay away from globe willow trees

By Marjorie Johnson

Dear Editor:

Warning: This is the kind of letter I wish I'd seen back when my husband I were looking for a retirement home in Delta County in the 1980s, because maybe we would have been aware that some trees that grow in this area should be avoided. If they are not, there can be many regrets.

Sure, we wanted some trees for the shade they could bring. But what we weren't aware of is how out of control some of those trees were. They never should be planted on city-size lots, because if they are they can cause a homeowner lots of regrets.

Yes, I'm talking about globe willow trees, which are okay out in a farmer's fields where maybe cows or horses might enjoy them. But hanging over your house they are downright dangerous, as someone I know found out when the branches of one that was near his house collapsed on his roof and smashed a huge hole in it that was expensive to repair.

My husband was alive and healthy when we bought our house. The trees in the yard weren't a big problem, but he has been gone for 18 years and now I'm a severely disabled widow and have a disabled son living with me. We can't cut trees or afford the thousands of dollars it would cost to hire somebody to do it because its trunk is about 20 feet around and the branches are about 50 feet up in the air. So what to do about it, I don't know. (And it is not the only globe willow I have on my property.)

For those of you who aren't familiar with the tree's habits, let me tell you about them. They have seasons when they produce things, like the sticks that fall when the wind blows -- and it blows a lot around here in the springtime. Then come the seeds that coat sidewalks and concrete driveways. They're tracked into houses and seem to eat into the concrete. Then comes the fall and an unbelievable number of long, skinny leaves come raining down. They clog rain gutters and downspouts and turn to muck that is difficult to get out.

So save yourself unneeded problems and stay away from those trees. If you don't, you might break yur neck climbing ladders trying to deal with them.

Marjorie Johnson