A Year in The Life of a Tree

Deciding to grow a tree is a strange endeavor to take on unless you are a tree farmer of course. Well I guess you can call me somewhat strange then since that is exactly what I started doing last November. I am not really sure why I did but last fall I contacted a tree farmer in New York and ordered a pack of California Giant Redwood (Sequoia) seeds. Granted my thought process was this probably is not even going to work since the tree would not even be in the right environment but I thought I would give it a shot.

When the seeds arrived, I planted three of them in a pot and then hoped for the best. A few weeks later, I could not believe my eyes when I noticed a small green sprout in the pot. I mean let’s be honest it was November in Ohio, so it sat inside and wasn’t going to get very much sunlight but somehow it managed to sprout. Within the first month, I had a tiny little seedling but I felt accomplished.

Fast forward to February and the tree was roughly 3 months old. The tree had made some progress in those few months and stood about 3-4 inches tall. It wasn’t all that impressive but still kind of cool to think that this little guy was growing even though it had to deal with Ohio’s minimal sun output.

The six month mark put us in the wonderful month of May, meaning sun has finally moderately returned to Northeast Ohio and I was able to stick the tree back outside in hopes it could soak up more sun. At this stage, the tree was about 6-8 inches tall and had managed to sprout four branches along the way.

Skip ahead to nine months and it was the pinnacle of summer in the month of August. Thanks to a relatively warm and dry summer to Ohio standards, the tree had gotten some major sunlight over the past 3 months and made leaps and bounds in terms of its growth. The sequoia now stood at roughly 1.5 feet tall and now had a plethora of branches along its trunk.

Finally, a year in the life of a sequoia tree ends here, as just last month the tree became a year old and what a year it has been. The tree has grown over 2 feet tall in the span of a year and actually looks like a legitimate small tree now. In addition, for the record now I realize why they call them redwood trees, the bark is actually red!

 I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t think this would work but it has turned out quite differently than I expected. Now, I realize you may think I am a little crazy for even attempting this whole thing and I have to admit it is not something the average college student does but nonetheless it was pretty cool. Those of you who follow me on twitter or facebook know that monthly I post a photo of the tree’s progress and I’ll continue to do so until the tree grows too big to fit in a photograph. I will say that if the whole graduate school/academia career doesn’t work out I can fall back on a career as a tree farmer!

Oh and for those of you who are wondering what I am going to do with this tree, the plan is that when I finally buy a house I’ll plant it in the yard. So if you ever see a giant redwood tree being transported that will be me!

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