The Litter Tree

The diversity of life forms on this planet is beyond awe-inspiring.  Life forms include trees.  I believe I have discovered a new species of tree, right outside my apartment window.

Horticulturists don’t believe my reports.  The nicest response I received from one of them was the one that stated, “We pass your report around the office every April Fools’ Day and laugh until we wet ourselves.”

Therefore, like everyone else who has seen something unusual, I am thumbing my nose at the scientists and telling my story to the public.

Some trees grow sweet, fragranced cherry blossoms, then sweet, delicious cherries.  Some trees grow apple blossoms, then nice, round, delicious apples.  Other trees grow oranges, apricots, acorns and other nice things.

The tree outside my window is a litter tree.  It grows plastic supermarket bags, two at a time.  I don’t know how this happened.  Maybe somebody back in the 70s or 80s buried a supermarket bag in the yard/garden outside our building and it somehow took root.  Why anyone would bury a supermarket bag is something I don’t understand, but some people will do anything for fun.


Litter Tree in Full Bloom

It is probably the sole tree on earth that grows only two pieces of inedible fruit at a time.  Like all fruit, the fruit of the litter tree appears, grows, then fades and dies.  The big difference, though, between a litter tree and, say, an apple tree is that the two plastic bags hanging from the litter tree never fall to earth.  They shrivel and shred, but the remains hang on the tree, as if trying to cling to a life they have long since lost.  Because they are too high up to be picked by hand, they remain on the tree, a sad reminder of what used to be.

Litter Tree with Rotten Fruit

The litter tree is native to The Bronx, New York.  Plastic bags and wind are also common in The Bronx, but this does not affect the litter tree, which stands tall and independent.

I hope that someday the litter tree will become the official tree of The Bronx.  Until then, I must work to get people to believe it exists.


Comments

Maria Roth said…
Litter trees are rare, but not unheard of, in the Midwest. :)
Kathy Minicozzi said…
I think this species is more widespread than I thought! LOL!

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