22 December 2012

Branching Out

Out of one accident, much growth.

My parents have an evergreen huckleberry plant on their property. It is a native plant and was seeded in by a bird. After we identified it some years ago, it became one of my favorite things to visit when I come home.

During an ice storm last winter, tree limbs fell on the plant, breaking some of its branches. When I saw it, I nervously checked the damage. After examining it, I knew the huckleberry would be okay, and I saw an opportunity. My mom had always talked about getting a start from the plant and growing her own. I collected the broken branches, and she placed them in water. Some of the branches grew roots, and she placed them in dirt. Two of the plants survived.

The successful starts are one great outcome of the accidental pruning. Another occurred with the original plant. I just dropped by for a visit the other day, and the plant has almost completely replaced the broken branches with new growth. It looks more robust than ever.

I was sad when I initially saw the huckleberry plant in pieces, but that moment brought two new plants and a flourish of activity at the old one.

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