Banned in Massachusetts
By: John P. Napolitano
Along the street in the front of our house were three beautiful King Crimson Maple trees. Brilliant reddish-maroon all summer long with terrific shade. Only one remains as the town had to remove two that had died due to road construction a few years before we bought the property.
In my quest to replace the dead trees, I learned that many states, including Massachusetts has labeled the King Crimson Maple as an invasive species and banned them from future sales here in MA. I couldn’t accept that for an answer, so I went to a few of my favorite tree places and they indeed confirmed. OK, I had another idea…. NH! But what do you know, NH did the same thing and banned the King Crimson Maple.
As if that wasn’t enough, I did what any other respecting 21st century male who refuses to take no for an answer would do… Google. The Google bots did confirm the ban, in fact, I now understand that that great canopy of shade is exactly why they banned them. If not maintained, the shade in forests would overcome and eventually overtake other native species.
But the Google Bots also found me a nursery in the north Midwest that still sells the trees. I bought one for $60, and wondered how in the heck they’d get it to me. Stupid question… the U. S. Mail, of course. On my front porch was a stick in a box with a plastic bag around the bottom. The stick, appropriately named for its 3.5’ height with no side branches yet was shipped in a dormant state and weighed less than a pound.
I followed the instructions, planted and have dutifully watered said stick. I am happy to report that the stick is beginning to sprout buds and leaves within one week of being planted. Just in time to shed them in the fall.
Even better news is that I’m now full of optimism about plants by mail and have ordered a bunch of Ferns and Hosta to add some color along a shaded stone wall. Maybe next spring, assuming everything will thrive this winter, I can show you a few photos of my mail order plants.