they tried to steal our TREE

A couple of days ago I went out to put some coffee grounds on the compost pile and I noticed that one of our trees had fallen over. Since my veggie garden is on the other side of the building, I only really go over to that side of the yard when putting something in the compost pits (which are on that side) or when I am doing my weekly fill several large garbage bags with trash people have thrown into our yard clean-up. It was raining and so I didn’t go over to check out the tree. I thought that since it has been raining a lot of late that maybe the more pliable soil couldn’t support the weight of the tree, which is bushy, but also several feet taller than me. Hmmm, like nearly 5 feet taller than me so pretty much double my height.

Since it was a beautiful morning today, I went out to do a bit of garden work. I’m slowly expanding the little corner plot and I had a 2×2 foot space in my scope. I’m digging down a foot deep with the trowel, removing all the rocks as I go with the idea that I might have enough of them to make a rock garden in a corner front area for herbs that like rocky spots. I dug out enough rocks to fill one of those small bathroom trashcans just in the 2×2 space so I think that yeah, a rock garden is in our future. I’m also taking out all the soil as I go, shifting the top soil from the second 1×1 space into the bottom (down a foot) of the first space I dig out, then layering in a quarter inch of used coffee grounds at the 6 inch depth mark and filling the rest back up with the bottom “soil” (aka sand) from that seccond square. The soil that I dug out of the first square goes into the final (4th) square in a similar fashion. It is as close as I can get to the bio-intensive method. Then I’ll be augmenting that top 6 inches of sand with nice compost that I’ve made. I was able to put half a bucket (aka the little bathroom trashcan) into the 2×2 space this morning. By Sunday, the rest of that pile should have çured enough, is probably already cured enough but I’m being cautious, to add into the mix there. It is going to take another 2 piles worth of compost though before that soil is worth much.

I was feeling very self-satisfied with my morning work and decided to go over and see about setting that tree to rights. The tree is not set to rights. The tree is laying on the ground again with half its roots sticking up. When I managed to get it upright it was immediately clear that it did not fall over because of wet dirt from the rain. There were clear shovel marks all around it. Worse, you could see that the shovel had cut through some of the strong extending roots. I tried tamping the dirt around the roots but the tree just kept falling over. I went and found some larger rocks and tried to prop the tree up with them, after again stepping all around the base to pack the soil down. TIMBER!!! If I had a shovel myself, I might could save the tree. I’d dig a nice deep hole away from the garden wall the thieves clearly jumped over and next to where the tree is growing, dig it up and replant it. I dearly want a shovel.

Only then did I realize that about a quarter of our other nice plants on that side of the yard were…missing.

I’m seriously pissed off. I also am really starting to wonder why OUR yard is being targeted and targeted again and again and again. Our yard is no easier to access than the yards of the two apartment buildings on either side of us. Our yard doesn’t have anything growing in it that is more special than what they’ve got growing — in fact, what we’ve got in our yard is pretty indistinguishable from what they’ve got in theirs with the same basic plants and nearly identical plant layouts. If anything, the yard of the building on our left is several degrees nicer than our yard and has more variety. Only our yard is getting ransacked, however.

10 responses to “they tried to steal our TREE”

  1. Lynne says :

    The thieves know that the area is not observable or used by residents and that they can work on stealing unobserved. It may even be someone who lives in the neighborhood who told them that, perhaps even in your apartment building or someone who lived there before. You should make the residents aware of the theft, and ask if they want to meet to discuss ways of dealing with it. What about the owners of the building or apartments? Perhaps better lighting is needed. I’m glad that your garden has not been targeted. If you see them stealing the plants, do not approach them yourself; call the police.
    Plant theft is a problem here in Austin, too.

  2. 300yrs in America says :

    What kind of tree is it? I say this because muslims believe all the trees except one will rat out the Jews hiding behind them.their scholars claim that that variety of tree is the one that Jews plant more than the others.maybe youre a victim of jihad.i know it sounds crazy but….

  3. Mike says :

    Okay, I think stealing a tree is really low. Maybe, since it seems like just your yard, somebody has a grudge against somebody in the building.

  4. Mac says :

    I say wrap the tree with a good old southern tradition….. electric fence wire, lol.

  5. Sylvia says :

    Maybe it’s time to consult with your neighbours about the thefts that are wrecking the garden. Then set up a booby-trap or something (e.g. a length of really fine fishing line, attach it to the tree and a few of the other most tempting-looking plants, with some kind of noisemaker at the other end so that when it gets yanked, the alarm is set off – bell rings, horn hoots, whatever). Or get some help from a tech-head and install a little hidden webcam to film whoever comes near the remaining vegetation. Some Aussies did that the other day, here in Oz, to catch folks who’d been pilfering stuff – like fresh bouquets of flowers, vases, metal plaques, that kind of thing – **from new graves in a cemetery** (how low was *that*?). It worked, too!

    Alternatively, you could try adding some Guard Plants..a nice protective hedge of 1 – prickly pear (maybe now you know why the first Zionists went in for plantings of prickly pear?) and/ or 2/ stinging nettles (actually edible when cooked and quite nutritious) or 3/ (only joking) poison ivy, imported specially from the USA.

  6. Sylvia says :

    I do like Mike’s electric wire idea, above. Doesn’t have to be a dangerous shock, just strong enough to sting, HARD.

    One of my brothers has a herd of pigs (yup, we’re Gentiles) and all it takes to keep them confined within their foraging/ grazing paddock is just one lil electric wire powered by a solar panel. They don’t like getting their noses zapped.

    • Lynne says :

      Sylvia, it seems that theft of this kind is more common than one would think. I was astonished the first time that I found out about plant theft. Someone stole the new azalea plants around our little school in Louisiana Bayou country, and more recently there was the theft of new plants at a local business near my house. Just dug up right out of the new landscaping. It seems amazing to me that someone would dig them up and steal them. One of my students told me that his mother would go to the cemetery to steal benches and vases and the like—as you say, very low indeed!
      I had experience with an electric fence as a child and it’s not one that could be described as fun! One thing that can be said for their use is that they work!

  7. israeliminx says :

    Yo good ideas! don’t think we could do the electric fence idea– I did laugh at Mac’s description though. Man stealing things out of a cemetery is seriously bottom of the barrel low! I’m going to talk to the vad about seeing if we can get some video surveillance up with webcams.

    Mike — I also started thinking it might be someone who lived here before — specifically the folks who moved out and who abandoned the little black cat or one of those workmen who was here doing the renovations at the neighbour”s apartment and had ample time to tramp about the yard and see what we’ve got and where everything is. My money is on the workmen, though, as this started while the renovations were underway.

    • Lynne says :

      When I lived in a condo, I’m pretty sure that it was the landscapers that we hired that were stealing my plants, just taking them right out of the ground. I believe that it was the OWNER of the landscaping company, who admired some of the rare plants that I had growing—the next day, they were gone. Not too subtle a theft. Unfortunately, workmen have the opportunity to see what is available to steal and can come back later to take what they want…happens all the time. I try to be so cautious about who I hire, and actually I try to do as much as I can myself.

  8. Lynne says :

    How is the little black cat doing?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: