I had a ceanothus, or Californian lilac, tree in the backyard. At most, the ceanothus shrub should grow to about the size of a small tree, which essentially what mine was.

I had noted that it was planted in relative narrow plot of soil. And I’d imagine its age was probably twenty years old this year, as it was a sizeable tree when I moved into the property a decade ago.

All was fine until a couple of years ago, I noted that the leaves and its beautiful blue flowers were pretty much at the periphery of the tree branches, and most of the proximal branches had dead leaves. Some of its clearly dead branches had to be sawn off, although the chap that regularly does my hedges did say that we shouldn’t take much off the tree as it would put the tree into “shock”. Then, this past winter, the tree died.

The ceanothus is not deciduous, hence it doesn’t shed its leaves in the winter, which didn’t explain why the leaves were all brown. Whilst in the past, it did have little green shoots growing from its main trunk, this time, nada.

With a heavy heart I had to have it chopped down. Interestingly, with the absence of the old ceanothus, the surrounding plants in my garden appear to be thriving a tad, especially the clematis next to it.

I do miss the tree. When the ceanothus bloomed, not only it added colour to my old backyard, the bees loved it, promoted pollination and that in turn was good for the environment.

Anyway, I wanted a new tree and no prizes if you could guess what I bought at the garden centre.

A baby Groot kinda scenario, I guess, as opposed to an actual tree. And this time, I will try to ensure that the baby ceanothus will be pruned to a manageable size so as it will not outgrow its source of nutrients in that little plot of soil.