This photo of a photo from 2004 shows an Italian stone pine my father and I planted together at his place in Grandview, TX in 1993. It was salvaged from the nursery outside Denton where I worked in college.
Here's how it looks today.
In the background are several native Blackjack Oaks (Quercus marilandica). At that time, they were perfect globe-shaped specimens. A couple of small tornadoes ripped through the area and last summer one of the beautiful oaks was severely damaged into this ridiculous shape. Seeing how the Blackjacks looked in the old photo inspired me to plant another tree.
My 82-year-old dad dug the hole in the sandy-clay soil.
According to the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center, this tree is native to West Texas, resistant to oak wilt and a hardy evergreen (probably semi-evergreen in North Texas) spreading to 60’ feet wide as it matures and a height of 80’.
We also planted the pomegranate in the background of this photo back in the 90s.
When I told him how large the tree will eventually grow, Dad said, "I won't live to see that."
Realistically that may be true. There is a saying that wise men plant trees in whose shade they will never stand. Hopefully August will live to see the tree grow tall and remember the shared experience of planting as a family.