By Montana Grant

Posted: June 29, 2019

Landscaping in Montana is tough enough. There are long, cold winters, lots of snow, droughts, and other issues make tree planting a challenge.

Our new home in Belgrade has a wonderful back yard but needed some more trees. I know that means more tactical mowing but heck, I am retired and have the time. Gardening is a passion and I enjoy the work. I selected a couple Colorado Blue Spruces and purchased them from the Cashman’s Nursery, the BEST greenhouse in the valley. Evergreens are green all year and I could also decorate them at Christmas.

My instructions were excellent. The staff of Cashman’s is always the supportive and knowledgeable. I did everything they said and planted both Spruce as directed. Heck I also have degrees in Biology, Horticulture, and have been a Naturalist, Teacher, and Landscaper.  Both trees were beautiful, and I gave them equal love. Plenty of mulch, water, and even a fertilizer stake.

The trees seemed fine at first. Then I noticed that one of the trees was struggling. The needles turned reddish brown and no new growth was happening. The other tree was thriving, but one was on a wing and a prayer.

What did I do wrong or different? I noticed that my Wife placed a Whirly Gig Fan in front of it. How would that make a difference? Finally, my AhHa moment came when I let out Magnum, my German Shorthaired hunting dog. He is the best hunting dog I have owned and has never lifted his leg to pee. When he pees, he spreads his legs and pees on all fours. We have never seen him lift a leg on a car tire, bush, or anything. He is a perfect boy!

Magnum pees on the new bush! There I said it! No one is more surprised than me. He Peed the beautiful Colorado Spruce to death! How many gallons of dog pee went onto the spruce I will never know? It was certainly enough to kill it. Mission accomplished!

The reason Magnum did not pee on the other pine tree was obvious. Any Man would understand. A spinning fan is not something that you want to place your Dinger near. Magnum may not lift his leg, but he still understands how a spinning fan could be of concern.

So, today I dug up the Pee Tree and stuck it into an old pot. The tree came with a year warranty and I bought it last August. I have the receipt and plan to exchange the Pee Tree for a new one. I hope that they accept and exchange the tree. I did not read anything about Pee Damage as a cause of tree death.

Honestly, it was unforeseen and sad. I apologize for not noticing sooner. My responsibility to keeping trees healthy is strong. Hopefully any tree hugger neighbors will not read this story and sue. Magnum does not have a huge bank account but is a damn fine hunter!

The new tree will have a whirligig nice and close for protection.

Montana Grant

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