I wonder if Mimosa trees were one of the first invasive plants?
My mother never liked ours and when someone mentioned that it might mess up the septic system, it disappeared pretty quickly.
One of my other favorite trees was the big Cedar tree in our back yard. It was a great old tree, and we had a picnic table under it. It was my office.
We also had a Plum tree which as it grew eventually interfered with our ball diamond. My least favorite tree was the large Persimmon tree which eventually disappeared so that we could get a carport.
I think it was a fair trade, I did enjoy persimmon pudding once in a while but I didn't care much for all the bees drawn by the inevitable rotting Persimmon that was so easily missed.
We also had a line of Pine trees and a couple of Weeping Cherry trees.
Still in those days your lot was not the most important thing because we wandered far and wide. Having some woods or a field with a couple of big trees to anchor a fort was much more important.
Of course nirvana was a stream running through the woods where you could engineer a dam, seine some minnows or find some salamanders under rocks for fish bait.
I don't remember coming home after school to any organized events until we got a Boy Scout troop when I was twelve.
Before that we would come home after school by bike or on foot, and then it was off to the woods or a game of baseball or football. I cannot ever remember being told not to go too far. I don't think anyone ever worried about us getting into trouble. Everyone assumed we knew what we were doing and would not get lost.
After all many of the parents had wandered the same woods when they grew up.
When we got older we walked the woods with shotguns and slowed the squirrel population explosion a little.
Then there were bike trips where we fished for catfish or whatever we could catch. The catfish and the bream almost always ended up in the frying pan.
I can remember the evenings when there were softball games and sometimes they sprayed for mosquitoes. We often ran barefoot down the oil soaked roads behind the spray trucks.
A couple of weeks each summer, they would fire up the old activity bus and drive us to Tanglewood Park where we would take swimming lessons until we dropped and then we would play putt-putt until it was time to board the buses for a trip home.
Life was much easier then.