Friday, April 17, 2009

Our Poor Beauty!

My husband and I saw our first Royal Poinciana tree on a trip to Key West about 24 years ago. We were immediately taken in by the beauty of the tree. We promised one another that when the time came to build our own home, we would plant a Royal Poinciana.

We made good on that promise. We planted our tree shortly after our home was built. We lovingly cared for our little tree by watering it daily. Each day we would examine the tree, hoping to see a sprout of green leaves. The nurseryman told us to be patient and keep watering. One day we started seeing green leaves which were followed shortly by little buds. Those buds opened up to gorgeous, red flowers. A splash of color and beauty in our own backyard!

We were looking forward to a second season with our little beauty. Mother Nature had other plans. Earlier this year, in February, we had a freeze for a couple of days. The temperatures dipped down to near 24 degrees. This was a freak occurrence for this area of Florida. We have been told that a freeze like this happened about 25 years ago.

We built a tee pee of sorts to cover the tree and placed a high watt light bulb inside, hoping to keep the tree warm enough during the cold. Our Royal Poinciana did not tolerate the arctic snap, but we were not aware of this, until it was time for the tree to leaf and bud again and it didn't. Our poor beauty is now a skeleton of her former self.

We are sickened by the loss (we also lost a Black Olive or "Shady Lady" tree). We were about to cut down the tree, when much to our surprise, we spotted some new growth at the base. Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum's character in the movie Jurassic Park) once said,...

"Life finds a way."

1 comment:

  1. That new growth may be hardier and more tolerant. Go Tree!!!