Fall’s Fireworks

Trees and autumn are almost synonymous in my part of the country, for with the loss of summer flowers, midwestern trees fill the land with year-end color. The brilliant foliage keeps our landscape exciting and even, at certain bends in the road, magnificent.

The Trouble with Trees

My mom always felt trees made property more valuable and beautiful. Don’t tell my mom, but I’m of the opinion that some trees are nothing but t-r-o-u-b-l-e. I know; I’ve owned a few. They are what I affectionately refer to as “trash trees.” You know, the ones that produce ugly stuff that looks like cigar debris or tobacco wads. These unsightly castoffs from the tree are tossed around by the winds, leaving an ugly path throughout the neighborhood that causes neighbors’ lips to purse when they pass you, the owner of the tree, in the grocery store.

And what about the trees whose roots are like tentacles, looking to choke out the life of your septic system, part your driveaway like the Red Sea, or disembowel your sidewalk? One year I planted some bamboo trees for a privacy screen next to our deck. What I didn’t realize was that bamboo has a sneaky habit of sending out leader trees underground that pop up in neighbors’ yards. Those are the same neighbors who didn’t desire a privacy screen, a bamboo tree, a koala bear, or now us as neighbors. 

Many trees produce lovely flowers, fruit, and fall color without negative fallout. Of course, before planting a fruit tree, one should realize they are labor-intensive because of the pruning, the fruit felons that attack the tree, and the autumn debris. Yet I think a few fruit trees are worth the seasonal struggles.

The Rewards are Sweet

Yes, trees offer many rewards: sipping iced tea under the shade of a wonderful tree; tying a swing to a high branch, and trying to touch the clouds with your toes, or taking a nap in a hammock stretched between two tree trunks. And I surely wouldn’t want to miss out on the flaming red and yellow maples in the autumn. They are fall’s fireworks. 

Trees add stability, beauty, and value, which is probably why Scripture encourages us to become like well-watered trees, trees that are lush with foliage, deep in roots, and continually bear fruit (see Psalm 1:3; Jeremiah 17:8).

Branch Out through Scripture

Branch out in your life by spending time in the scriptures. Turn to the concordance in the back of your Bible and look up all the verses listed under “tree” and “fruit”. I think you’ll be encouraged and instructed … I was.

Some of My Favorite Trees

Saucer Magnolia

The short-lived, stupendous flowers are followed by delightful, oval-shaped, mint-colored leaves that deepen for autumn interest.

Japanese Maple

This tree is a miniature way to add a little frill and a lot of color-depth to your garden.

Barlett Pear

The fruitless version of this tree has beautiful flowers in the spring and colored leaves in the fall.


The gnarly trunk and limbs add a sense of history to the landscape.

Flowering Plum

This plum-pretty tree develops dark leaves and in spring, dainty flowers.


Bark up this tree and find lovely pink of white spring flowers looking back atcha.

Weeping Cherry

Cheers me up somehow.

Blue Spruce

A great refuge for birds, this tidy tree lends gently coloration and a wonderful shape to the garden.


Has a great parchment look.

Crab Apple

Well, it just fits my personality

Palm Tree

Pass me a coconut dah-ling. On windy days, palms look like feather dusters sweeping the sky.

Excerpt from Stepping Stones, A Garden Path


  1. jill Condos on October 31, 2020 at 11:09 pm

    Patsy you are a joy. No longer a homeowner, your post brought back memories and chuckles. Thank you!

  2. Jane Johnson on November 1, 2020 at 12:21 pm

    Love this Patsy! I can just hear you telling about each tree! Love fall and all the colors!

  3. Connie Vaughn on March 29, 2021 at 11:22 am

    I loved this Patsy! We were blessed to spend a month in the beautiful mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina last October visiting Civil War sites, family, and friends. The trees were in their full spectacular color! I put one of the photos I took at Lake Junaluska in Waynesville, N.C. on my computer so when I open it every morning I get to see Mother Nature in all of her glorious color.
    I’ve been following you for many, many years. When I see information on Christian Women’s Conferences that you are a part of, I make every effort to get tickets to attend. Because I live near Wichita, KS., I can be in Oklahoma City in three hours, same with Tulsa or Kansas City. So I’ve been blessed to get to see you several times. Thanks for sharing yourself with so many fans.

  4. Barbara Hardy on June 28, 2022 at 3:12 am

    I have seen you at the Women Of Faith Conference and enjoy
    the message you bought to the that part of the conference.

  5. Andrew on July 24, 2022 at 2:30 am

    Trees keep us healthy. They might take some work sometimes, but it helps keep ya going. Prudence, just like all parts of our lives, comes into play when picking trees and placing them. I was born and raised in Washington State, we got a TON of trees here. Mostly coniferous trees. So if you need a nice Christmas Tree, come on up and visit! If you like hiking, we can hike out and pick one out of the very forest. :-] I have not spent much time over on the East Coast. I’ve been to Michigan some and Georgia and Florida also. I have not explored much of either three states. I know Georgia has very different types of forests than here. I spent some nights out in them when I was doing Army Infantry training. One tree you mentioned that you like was the Birch Tree. I wonder what type of Birch Tree is your favorite?? If you have one? I always liked the White Birches. Last thing, I see a spirit of wisdom in you. That is a special blessing! I am thankful to God for putting me into acquaintance with you. People with spiritual wisdom are very precious <3 I appreciate ya and what you do.

  6. Eva Ann McKay on August 12, 2022 at 2:21 pm

    I want to read the book
    Next time I go t the Library💕

  7. Elizabeth Morris Snider on November 3, 2022 at 10:25 am

    Enjoyed your blog so much. Have admired you for years. Just today I learned of your husband’s home going. Please know that I am praying for your comfort and God’s blessings of peace.

    My husband of 49 years 8 months has been in Hospice Home Care since May. There’s nothing else they can do, but make him comfortable. I am devastated, but completely depending on The Lord for His guidance and leading. My soul cries out for us to be able to celebrate our 50th Anniversary in March. Our family is strong in the Lord, and we are so appreciative of each day we have left. Two weeks ago, we all traveled to the Mountains of North Carolina, our home state, for our family’s memorable weekend together in a beautiful Airbb. We took so many family pictures of our four generations and have such beautiful memories to help carry us through.

    May God continue to lift you and your loved ones up to bless others. We pray that our family can help others are they walk this journey of Dementia, heart and kidney failure, and diabetes. Make each day count. Love hard and sincere. Be strong and face the inevitable with God’s grace, strength, foresight and love.

  8. Jenny Causey on February 7, 2024 at 1:53 pm

    Your trees made me think about the weeping willow tree in my parents backyard. It always closed up the sewer line at the worst time of the year. When people visited. I know more than I want to know about roto rooter because of that tree. But then I was thinking that weeping willows must have a use somewhere because everything God creates does. That tree was just not in the right environment to show its usefulness. It made me think about people and if they are listening to God about where they would be most useful or if they are going their own way and not becoming their full self in Christ. Something for me to pray about for myself.

    Oh and the tree experience did help me when I bought my own house years ago. So that weeping willow did help teach me something.

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