This song was written by Bobby Russell, who got the idea for the song when he noticed how much a tree in his front yard had grown in four years. Russell was a Nashville songwriter who was briefly married to actress/singer Vicki Lawrence, and wrote her 1973 hit "The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia
." He also wrote "Little Green Apples" for O.C. Smith (#2, 1968), and "The Joker Went Wild" for Brian Hyland (#20, 1966). Russell, who died of a heart attack in 1992 at age 51, was a singer, but his most successful songs were recorded by other artists. He had minor hits with the songs "1432 Franklin Pike Circle Hero" (#36, 1968) and the novelty song "Saturday Morning Confusion" (#28, 1971).