The Theme for this Story Weekend: Trees

I don’t know about you, but I can think of dozens of personal stories to write about trees, from the cathedral they formed over my childhood backyard to the yearning I had for them that led me to move back to the east coast from San Diego. How about you? What tree stories are in your life?  

Are you new to Story Weekend? This is your time on my blog. Here’s how it works: I pick a theme and you share something from your life that relates to that theme. Thanks to all of you who’ve been contributing. I’ve loved reading your (very short!) stories. As always, there are a few “rules”:

  • The story must be true.
  • Try to keep it under 100 words. That’s about six or seven lines in the comment form. I want others to read your story, and most people tend to skip if it’s too long. I know how tough it is to “write tight” but I hope you’ll accept this as a challenge.
  • Avoid offensive language.

Have fun, and as usual, I’ll kick it off with my own comment.


  1. Diane Chamberlain on July 28, 2011 at 11:54 pm

    My grandmother was babysitting my brother and me when we heard an enormous crash outside. Frightened, we called my uncle who came over and told us the neighbor’s massive tree had fallen, half of it in our yard, the other half in their house. We watched the ambulance take our neighbors to the hospital to treat their scrapes. Today, the tallest oak in our neighborhood stands just outside our bedroom window. It’s extraordinary and I love looking at it, but when it storms, I sleep in the guestroom.

    • Martha on July 29, 2011 at 10:31 am

      I adore trees, but we lived in Raleigh in 1996 when Hurricane Fran came through. We slept through the overnight destruction believe it or not. I arose at first light (no electricity) and looked out my kitchen window to see the neighbor in back of us, who was revovering from open-heart surgery, up on his rooftop trying to put a tarp over half of a tree still showing above his living room ceiling. The house two doors down had five pines of varying sizes on top of their roof. Our guardian angels were working overtime.

  2. Cindy Mathes on July 29, 2011 at 12:40 am

    Spending one week a summer at my ranny’s house, trees were a very big deal. In front of her house by the road were rows and rows of Peach trees. I can still remember the warm soil between our feet as we picked fresh peaches from the tree. Picking them from the tree and the sticky warm juice running down our chins. The prickling of the peach fuzz on your fingers and face. The row of huge Mimosa Trees stood between the house and the orchard. Tying home made quilts with ropes between the trees to make hammocks. Spending the hot afternoon lying in the hammock gazing through the leaves.

    • Cindy Mathes on July 29, 2011 at 12:45 am

      I have to say that this wasn’t my ranny’s house, but my Granny’s

  3. Sheree Gillcrist on July 29, 2011 at 5:43 am

    In the forest of my children’s childhood, disputes and differences came as regularly as the rain in spring. To dissipate these disagreements I wandered into the woods behind our house and found an old felled log covered with mose and lichen and named it ‘The Sitting Log’. In times of trouble or worry we all took turns sitting there with a moving forest floor beneath our feet, birds seranading us and a blue sky so large that it made all of our troubles seem miniscule in comparison. The wind carried our worries away and replaced it with a sense of serenity that only communing with nature can do. I used that log to teach my kids that sometimes the oldest things never do outlive thier usefulness.

  4. Maggiee on July 29, 2011 at 6:06 am

    It was a tree that gave me a very rude awakening a few months back; well to be fair the rude awakening came courtesy of my mum, but it never would have happened if it hadn’t been for the tree, outside of her house, that had decided to throw itself onto my car in the middle of the night. I have to add that we can still find no rhyme nor reason for the tree’s overnight suicidal actions as I’ve never seen a night so calm or still; however, for some reason it was that night that it decided to uproot itself and launch itself through the back window of my poor, unsuspecting little car. Needless to say, the tree’s fate was obvious the council were there in no time, later that morning, to shred it to pieces; my fate was that of driving 250 miles home, on a cold February day, with no back window!

  5. Bernie Brown on July 29, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    A weeping willow tree lived in the backyard of my childhood home. Its long, feathery branches offered a variety of entertainment. They formed a house to play in as they hung nearly to the ground, creating a secret place between the branches and the trunk. The branches, when stripped from the tree, could be sort of woven together to create fur stoles when I wanted to play Rich Lady; or I could attach several to a single one and make a hula skirt when I wanted to be Hawaiian. Or, in a livelier mood, I could just run around the yard swinging one until the leaves disintegrated.

  6. Lori Cimino on July 29, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    The summer after 1st grade my best friend and I decided to have a picnic lunch in the small orchard behind our house. We had some dwarf cherry trees. I loved climbing trees and for whatever reason decided to climb up into the tree and eat my peanut butter sandwich up there. I have no idea why the conversation started but I said to my friend that I wondered what a broken bone felt like. All of a sudden there was a crack and the branch broke. I hurt my arm and ran crying into the house. A trip to the ER was in order. And I had broken my right arm in 3 places.

  7. Joanne Grover on July 29, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    Growing up as a child until age 12 in the pocono mt area of Penn.I recall that every oct . when Gods paintbrush put all these beautiful colors on the trees, I never thought anything was more beautiful. Now that i am older the feelings have not changed.

  8. Carol on July 29, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    While caring for Mom, I am living at her home. I grew up in this house. There were two very special trees – one very large in the backyard from which we (my brothers and I) hung our tire swing. We would climb up on top of the roof of the house, holding on to the rope of the swing and jump, putting our legs around the tire as we began our swing. The second tree was in the front yard. My grandpa picked me up from Kindergarten one day, we came home and planted the tree – 50 years ago. This summer it was damaged in a storm. The entire tree had to be removed. A great loss in many ways.

  9. Julie Kibler on July 30, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    My friends and I walked home together from junior high school. Inevitably, I was reading a book while we walked, trusting my friends to warn me if any danger approached. One day, I bumped into one of them and apologized. She said, “It’s okay. I just thought you were a tree.” My nickname from then on? Tree, of course.

  10. Nann on July 30, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    Ah, the trees from my parents’ 2 acre lot in north Florida…. the sloped live oak that was our “climbing tree”, though really one walked carefully up it. We have a number of pictures of the neighborhood kids on & around that tree. And the two grand old live oak, 200+ years each, that shaded our house, one at either end. A tornado took one out in ’78 and that valuable shade was gone. Central air came to that house 18 months after losing the shade of that tree. And there was the grove of dogwoods off the carports. We’d rake pine straw, from the pine trees, into long lines around that grove to be floor plans of houses, sometimes the furniture as well. No wonder I’ve always though of trees as friends!

  11. Ann Osborn on July 30, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    I love trees. The one I used to read under as a kid, is still there, but I can’t visit it, don’t own the property. To this day, my favorite place to read is under a tree, with the sun shining through the leaves making everything seem magical and childlike again. Thank you for bring back the memory Diane, it made me smile.

  12. Linda Sullivan on July 31, 2011 at 10:33 am

    I grew up on Long Island in New York and I remember this gorgeous lilac tree in our backyard, well actually it was in my neighbors yard but it used to hang over our fence into our yard. I used to go back there to smell the wonderful lilacs all the time. One day this idiot across the street (he will remain nameless) set fire to the bushes in the yard and they burned to the ground … fortunately there was no other damage including my beautiful lilac tree. I still to this day can remember the smell of lilacs on that tree and it is still one of my favorite scents. Unfortunately it is way to HOT in Florida to grow lilac trees or I would have them all over my property! Funny, the things we remember as children. Ahhhh to be young again!! 🙂

  13. Margo on July 31, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    The most glorious thing that Christmas morning…20-50 bright red cardinals watching us from the huge, snow covered Douglas Fir Trees we had planted around the house in the country. Dad had a dream to plant as many Firs as possible on the acreage and it became a family effort as we painstakingly planted them from ‘babies’. Would we ever witness such a beautiful event? Yes, another Christmas morning with 20-50 Deer watching us from between those snow covered Firs. So mystical and regal-the trees reminded us each year what was really important.

  14. Diane Chamberlain on July 31, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    beautiful memories, everyone!

  15. Tina Blackwell on August 1, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    When I was 10 yrs. old, living in Wilmington, N.C., I can remember hanging upside-down from the limbs of our huge, old oak tree re-creating scenes from the Hayley Mill’s movie, The Moon Spinners. In the movie, Hayley hung from the ‘spokes’ of the windmill, trying to escape from a villain. Our tree limbs were my ‘windmill’. I had hours of fun in that old tree……:)

  16. Rob Lopresti on August 3, 2011 at 12:22 am


    Boy, do I remember that night (I am the brother in question, folks). I can still see the sparks that flew outside the windows after we heard the crash. But I don’t remember an ambulance at all. Childhood memories, huh? Almost as unreliable as my current ones…

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