Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

New Idea

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Every spring we discover so many unexpected sprouts of new maple and oak trees in places where they can’t be allowed to remain and every year we talk about transplanting a select few instead of just cutting them all down. Most often, time passes before we get around to taking appropriate action.

Last year we made a rather late-season attempt to transplant a maple and a pine and both failed miserably. With hope springing eternal, I spontaneously pulled up a young oak sapling on Saturday and moved it to the spot where last year’s pine attempt had been located.

Without knowing if that would even succeed, both Cyndie and I were inspired to make more attempts, so yesterday we suddenly set about moving both oaks and maples to the fence line beyond the paddocks where we have long dreamed of adding shade trees.

This is the same place we tried planting many acorns a couple years ago to avoid needing to transplant but not a single one sprouted. Alas, we are back to transplanting, but this time with a new idea for a compensation-in-advance in case none of the relocated trees survive the shock of being moved.

For every tree we attempt to transplant, we have vowed to find a different sapling that happens to have sprouted in an acceptable location and give equal nurturing attention to encourage robust growth right where it started. Without any disruption to the roots, logic dictates we should have a high percentage of success in these cases.

I’m considering them a backup plan to assuage my grief any time one of the transplanted trees don’t survive the shock of being moved.

The effort is minimal and primarily involves cutting away all surrounding competitors to the saplings we select. It’s not that different from what we are doing on a much larger scale to clear out competition beneath the towering mature oak trees in our woods.

With the saplings, we add a step of providing woodchip mulch around them to discourage competing weeds or grasses and also slow the surrounding soil from drying out.

It’s a good exercise for me to learn better acceptance of culling some young trees guilt-free with an eye toward the bigger goal of improving the healthy growth of sprouts that showed up where they are wanted and there will be room to flourish.



Written by johnwhays

May 23, 2022 at 6:00 am

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