My parents have owned the house we live in for over fifteen years now and the tree was fully grown when we moved in. As kids my brother and I were always playing in the tree, desperately trying to make some sort of tree house in it (with the help of our next door neighbours). We were also always curious as to why the trunk of the tree had this great huge crack, that looked like a lightening bolt, down at its base.
According to the elderly couple who used to live in the house next door (one of whom had lived there her entire life) the family that used to own our house had actually tried to cut the tree down at some point and had taken an axe to it. Thankfully they did a pretty bad job of it, by the looks of it trying to hack it in half as opposed to axing it horizontally across the trunk. Amazingly the tree managed to survive this ordeal and has grown with this great split of a scar through its centre.
The couple believed that the tree must have been around 60 years old when we moved in which is just astounding because every spring it bursts out with this amazing bloom of magnolia flowers and fills our garden with hundreds of pink and white petals until the whole area looks like it has been covered in snow (and my poor mother has to sweep it all up).
In the summer it grows big, thick green leaves which create this wonderful canopy over our patio area and we can can eat our dinner in its shade, although sometimes the canopy does end up on your plate.
Hopefully it will keep on providing a beautiful blush of pink outside my window for another 60 years to come and nobody else will try to cut it down as it’s just as old and quirky as the house we live in.