South West Farm Press Logo

#TreePlanting: Sowing a seed

We recently cut down an aging oak. That tree was the backdrop for countless photos and memories. While I'm sad it's gone, it's my turn to plant a seed for future generations to enjoy.

Shelley E. Huguley, Editor

November 22, 2023

2 Min Read
oak tree
Sad to see that old oak tree go. Shelley E. Huguley

As I write my column, it’s a cool, fall day. I’m so thankful the temperatures we endured this summer are becoming something of the past rather than our reality. The leaves have turned and are scattered throughout our yard, caught up in flower beds and littered along the brush lines.  

I have taco soup in the crock pot and Jiffy cornbread in the oven, a sign in the kitchen that autumn has arrived. I look forward to the change in seasons. What a relief that they don’t last forever, although, after this summer, I could get used to temperatures in the 50s every day.  


While I’m grateful for change, I also want to hold on to some things. Right now, my front yard is busy with gentlemen sawing down and loading our large oak tree. I don’t know if drought is to blame or old age or both, but this tree is dying. It’s been losing large limbs each time one of our strong windstorms blows through. Thankfully, they’ve never injured anyone or fallen on the vehicles parked in our semicircle drive. My farmer decided that before they do, we had better remove it.  

I’m sad to see it go. It seems silly to grieve a tree. But we’ve made lots of memories in that tree and on the ground where it’s deeply rooted. And there’s just something to be said about an established tree. It may have been planted when the house was built in the 60s. I’m not sure. I just know it's been here a long time. 

This tree, which’s provided years of shade and beauty, sits on the west corner of our lot, opposite another aging but healthy oak. When we first moved into this house, my oldest was six years old and my son was two. My Little had not yet been born.  

Since then, we’ve taken numerous family pictures beneath its shade and its limbs have supported many kids. My children used to scale that tree when they were younger. My son, especially, loved to climb into the crown. No fear. I even had a photo framed of him sitting in that tree. Unlike the girls, he’s never been one for photos, but once I proposed the tree as a prop, he was game! I even got a genuine smile out of the deal! 

This tree also reminds me how my choices don’t just benefit or affect me but future generations. I don’t know if the original owners got to enjoy that tree’s strength and wide circumference that supported multiple limbs that have shaded many events since. I’m thankful they had the forethought to sow a seed that 50 years later has been such a blessing. I guess it’s our turn to do the same. Plant, water, nurture knowing we might not benefit from it now, but that maybe in another 50 years a family will enjoy its fruit.  

About the Author(s)

Shelley E. Huguley

Editor, Southwest Farm Press

Shelley Huguley has been involved in agriculture for the last 25 years. She began her career in agricultural communications at the Texas Forest Service West Texas Nursery in Lubbock, where she developed and produced the Windbreak Quarterly, a newspaper about windbreak trees and their benefit to wildlife, production agriculture and livestock operations. While with the Forest Service she also served as an information officer and team leader on fires during the 1998 fire season and later produced the Firebrands newsletter that was distributed quarterly throughout Texas to Volunteer Fire Departments. Her most personal involvement in agriculture also came in 1998, when she married the love of her life and cotton farmer Preston Huguley of Olton, Texas. As a farmwife, she knows first-hand the ups and downs of farming, the endless decisions made each season based on “if” it rains, “if” the drought continues, “if” the market holds. She is the bookkeeper for their family farming operation and cherishes moments on the farm such as taking harvest meals to the field or starting a sprinkler in the summer with the whole family lending a hand. Shelley has also freelanced for agricultural companies such as Olton CO-OP Gin, producing the newsletter Cotton Connections while also designing marketing materials to promote the gin. She has published articles in agricultural publications such as Southwest Farm Press while also volunteering her marketing and writing skills to non-profit organizations such as Refuge Services, an equine-assisted therapy group in Lubbock. She and her husband reside in Olton with their three children Breely, Brennon and HalleeKate.

Subscribe to receive top agriculture news
Be informed daily with these free e-newsletters

You May Also Like