In the nursery, we are proud of all the trees. They all give it all they can, every day, rain or shine, sleet or snow. Sometimes trees die, sometimes trees don't make the cut, and sometimes trees are never even given a chance. That is just the nature of the work.
At the begining of the season, we notice a willow had germinated in the gravel pile that is going to top off our drainage ditch. We never got around to filling it up this year, and the willow steadily punched its way through the season, growing in terrible soil with zero attention from Team Tree.
Today, this brave willow is aorund nine feet tall. That is tree-spirational. That deserves the "Rocky" soundtrack. Gravel Willow, you are the Contender of the Season. Congratulations. We will probably put this tree in the rain garden, to help bioremidiate the soil, which is more gravel and chopped up elm trees. It has a rocky road ahead of it, but I believe in this tree.