The Naked Truth about Sunburst
August 6th, 2010
This month’s Laugh! Q&A takes a fun turn with an interview with a celebrity who has been showing up in cities across the northeast with her bottom half completely bare. Elegant and full figured, Sunburst Honey Locust is known for her golden highlights and delicate shading. Laugh! caught up with this sun-loving star of the fauna to talk about her new lifestyle choice.
LAUGH: When you come to Wilmington and other cities these days, you often show up with your roots naked. Why? Is it a political statement, publicity stunt or just some late blooming exhibitionist tendency expressing itself?
SUNBURST: It’s nude, not naked. And frankly, being a bare root tree has nothing to do with any of that. You can’t imagine the burden of lugging around pounds of dirt everywhere you go. Shaking it all off is a lighter way to travel, and helps me keep twice as many roots from home where ever I plant myself next.
LAUGH: Word on the street is that your kind — bare root trees — are cheap and easy. How do you feel about having that reputation?
SUNBURST: I admit, I am the most economical way to create a cool, shaded neighborhood. But I choose my associations very carefully: the only place in Delaware you can pick me up is the Delaware Center for Horticulture (TheDCH). In fact, even my appearance there this year is limited to two days: October 27 and 28.
LAUGH: But is what you do appropriate for young children?
SUNBURST: Absolutely. Planting bare root trees is a fun family-friendly activity: we’re inexpensive, lightweight and easy to plant. Without that heavy root ball, even children can carry a 10-12 foot tree. And, we don’t need an especially deep hole for planting. This is great news if you’ve got hard clay soil.
LAUGH: Are you finicky about settling into a new landscape?
SUNBURST: Oh, I don’t think so. Autumn and early spring is always the best time to plant trees, and I’m no exception. All I need to feel welcome is to keep my roots moist before putting me in the ground and plant me within a few days of coming home. And when my beautiful leaves are fluttering, give me 20 gallons of water once or twice a week. To me, that’s what any good host would do for a new foliage friend.
LAUGH: You look great. How do you keep such a healthy glow about you?
SUNBURST: Before traveling bare, I get a luxurious mud-wrap or take a dip in a slurry of a hydrogel (a synthetic water-absorbing compound). And while enroute, I make sure I stay covered and shaded.
LAUGH: Sunburst Honey Locust sounds like a stage name. Isn’t your real name Gleditsia triacanthos?
SUNBURST: How did you — um, no comment.
LAUGH: Your highly publicized affair with Nate Hawthorn didn’t last. What went wrong?
SUNBURST: The bare root life isn’t for everyone. Hawthorn (His real name is Crataegus) and his friends Ginkgo and old Shingle Oak just couldn’t make the switch to the bare root lifestyle. We’ve remained friends, but enough of personal probing questions.
LAUGH: OK. Tell readers about your next local appearance.
SUNBURST: This fall, I’ll be at TheDCH with nine other varieties of bare root trees that have been specially selected to thrive in this region’s towns and cities. It’s going to be a fun gig. The good people at TheDCH are offering a free training class, “How to Plant Your Bare Root Tree” on Wednesday, October 27 from 5 – 6:30 p.m. in the center’s beautiful Trolley Square location. To pre-register, call 302-658-6262, ext 106. To see a list of available trees and descriptions, visit TheDCH.org. But plan ahead – the deadline for pre-orders is Sept. 15.
LAUGH: Tell us about your local sponsor.
SUNBURST: I’d love to. The Delaware Center for Horticulture plants hundreds of trees in towns and cities throughout Delaware each year. Founded in 1977, The DCH cultivates appreciation and improvement of the environment through horticulture, education and conservation. The Trolley Square center has a demonstration garden, lending library, art gallery, lecture hall and greenhouse – all free and open to the public. It supports 20 community and school gardens and maintains many urban gateways, corridors, and traffic islands. For more information, visit TheDCH.org.