Steven Michael Ralls Memorial Tree is mostly camouflaged by the surrounding forest.

Steven Michael Ralls got his Memorial Tree this morning, three years after he passed away on May 2, 2017. The circumstances that coincided for this event were impossible to ignore. Just like the other Memorial Tree, which was installed to replace an oak that was missing from a parking lot island, the Steven Michael Ralls Memorial Tree also has a practical application.

The small tree is a young Monterey Cypress, Cupressus macrocarpa, that needed to be removed from one landscape, and was waiting in the recovery nursery to be installed into another. Of course, a Monterey cypress in no easy tree to accommodate. It is too big and too dark to be compatible with most of the landscapes into which we add smaller and mostly deciduous trees.

However, it happens to be ideal for obscuring undesirable scenery, just like a row of five Arizona cypress, Cupressus arizonica, will be expected to do when installed along a busy roadway. Furthermore, it just happens to grow bigger faster than Arizona cypress, so is even better for the low end of the row where a bigger tree is preferred. The row really needs six trees anyway.

The location of the tree just happens to be ideal as well. With all Arizona cypress spaced evenly along the roadway, and the Steven Michael Ralls Memorial Tree strategically situated around the lower corner of the fence, it is located precisely where Steven Michael Ralls camped while homeless late in 2012. I could not have selected a more appropriate location if I had planned it.

The new tree will need to be watered by bucket occasionally through summer, but will need no intervention after the rain starts next autumn. It knows what it needs to do to get established and become an evergreen asset to the forest.

It was easier to see before it was planted.

5 thoughts on “Steven Michael Ralls Memorial Tree

    1. It will not take much for it to get established. It is native to the coast on the other side of Monterey Bay, and is politely naturalized in the neighborhood here. There is already a specimen on the other side of the creek that is about forty years old or so. There are several more within half a mile or so. I know it will like being here. I only need to water it through summer. Even without watering, it would probably do well. For now, it is somewhat sheltered, in a cool spot near the creek. As it gets established, I will subordinate the deteriorating box elders around it.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m glad both the tree, and its location, are so fitting as a memorial to your friend Steven. ❤ I read the obit link you shared; I'm sorry about his passing. But I'm glad that of all people, you're the one involved in getting his little tree established.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Selecting trees that are appropriate to particular situations is part of my work. This one just happened to work out as an ideal tree for an ideal location. I could not have planned it better. The other Memorial Tree is ideal as well; but someone who hates homeless people demanded that it be removed.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s