The spring after Sam Erb opened the Bowery restaurant, his parents suggested putting willow trees in the rented parking lot that contained only trash and a dumpster. Willows require lots of water, and we had a drainage problem there.

We brought the little trees home in the trunk of our car and planted them in topsoil that was put over the gravel base.

One of the trees was broken when a wind storm caused a nearby Ailanthus tree to fall on top of it. The falling willow then broke Summer Squall, a “ horseplay” horse owned by Dogwood Stable.

The remaining willow was by then more than 30 years old, past the normal life expectancy of these trees. We suggested to Shawn Ledford to remove the tree before he started his construction of Mellow Mushroom.

Dudley Erb