Seventeen years ago, my friend Cecelia was new to Florida and in love with all the greenery and blooms. On a lovely, sunny day she was pushing her garden cart up and down the street collecting bagged leaves for mulch. One of her neighbors, about five houses down, was working in his front yard when she spied in his garbage the root ball of a Norfolk Island Pine. He had removed the three gallon pot, the tree limbs were completely brown, and the root ball was dried out.
Cecelia was determined to resuscitate it. “But it’s dead,” the neighbor declared. “We’ll see,” Cecilia said, thinking that some water might help it. He helped her get it in the cart and away she went.
The tree thrived at the back corner of her house and the neighbor who trashed it often rode by on his bicycle to check on his tree. He was thrilled to see the tree growing and looking so pretty and even became good friends with Cecelia’s husband. The neighbor has since passed away but is still in their hearts and the tree, now two stories tall, is still in Cecelia’s yard.
The next time you see one of these trees at the curb after the holidays, drag it home and plant it.