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When Did This Happen?

the split leaf maple in 1987

Every year things seem to change around me. I look at my children and they are adults. I look at my grandchildren and wonder how these last 6 years have gone by so quickly. I look at my husband and wonder how 39 years have flown by so fast.

As many of you know, I am all about photographs. One that has been on my refrigerator for 30 years is of my son about to go off to kindergarten, standing in front of this magnificent Japanese split leaf maple that my grandfather, Albert Behnke gave us when we built our home in 1985. He had it at his home in Burtonsville and decided we should have it along with many other trees.

the split leaf maple today

I love this tree. This is the tree I go out and brush the snow off of in the winter, it is the tree that my husband and I argue over when he feels the need to trim it. I like it weeping down and he wants to trim it up. But like a haircut, it seems to withstand his pruners and every year grows and grows. This is the tree we would look under to find our cats when they were hiding from us.  I have so many memories of times I would have my children stand in front of it while I took their photo at graduations. I remember that when they were young and playing basketball I would always be saying: “Watch out for our tree!” Now it has become one of the tree forts my grandchildren play under. It is so large, we can all fit under it and stand up.

When did this happen? When did this beautiful tree grow so tall and strong?

Remember, the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago! The second best time is today.

by Stephanie Fleming, Behnke’s Vice President

Stephanie Fleming was raised at Behnke’s Nurseries in Beltsville. Her Mom, Sonja, was one of Albert & Rose Behnke’s four children. She was weeding from the moment she could walk and hiding as soon as she was old enough to run, so many weeds, so little time. Although she quickly learned how to pull out a perennial and get taken off of weed pulling duty.

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