The wind swept across the dormant grass, unleashing a smattering of snagged leaves that took to the air like beautiful, brittle butterflies.  It was reminiscent of a season to come, a season past, and it was lovely.

In honor of Valentine’s Day next week, memorialize your love with the addition of “husband and wife trees”.  Yes, it was a thing.  A practice long past that we can bring back to our homes and yards as a charming testament for seasons to come, and a symbol of season’s past.

Husband and wife trees were a customary practice in New England. Newly married couples would plant two, separate trees near the entrance of the home.  One was the husband tree, and the other, the wife tree.  They were trees of the same size, and the same species.  They grew side by side, without impeding the growth of the other.  As you might imagine, many of the trees still stand, while the homes, and in some cases the marriages, have since been razed.

Another interpretation of the custom was to plant two trees, directly next to each other and prune them to fit together, so they appear as one.  There is also a natural phenomenon, known as inosculation, in which the trunk, branches or limbs of two trees grow together, similar to grafting.

Certainly, had we all known of this wonderful custom, we would have planted our trees many years ago, but why lament?  Make a promise to plant two trees this year as a testament to your love, and as a gift to the land.  Contact Sweeney’s, and we’ll help you choose and plant the perfect trees for your home and your relationship.

Plant of the Week


Sweet Summer Love Clematis

Fragrant, reddish-purple star-shaped flowers bloom in mass from July – September amongst dense, green foliage.  Prolific vine prefers sun to partial shade and moist, well-drained soil.  Grows 20-25′ high and 3-4′ wide.  Attracts hummingbirds and is quite sturdy.

“The big trees appeared two at a time, placed as ‘husband and wife trees’ when a house was built. They were usually on the east side of the house or at each side of the entrance; you could pick out farmhouses on any New England landscape by these double clumps of green”.

-Eric Sloane

Best wishes,

Kim Sweeney