Relative Something

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

Posts Tagged ‘transplanting tree

Precious Sight

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We are so lucky to have these beautiful horses living with us. It’s been a month and a half since they arrived and each day brings them a little bit closer to recognizing us as well-intentioned caregivers. Seeing the four of them quietly grazing together without any fuss is a precious sight.

Just the change from how they originally stood well out of reach when we showed up at the fence to now greeting us with their heads over the top board to smell our breath and accept some touch when we arrive is such a demonstration of their increased comfort.

We’ve taken to temporarily closing gates between pairs during the times we set out feed pans to minimize food related interaction among them, but immediately after open all the gates to allow total freedom of movement. They don’t always regroup and wander off together as a foursome, but when they do, it warms our hearts.

A much less precious sight was discovered upon our return from the lake on Monday. The little pine tree that we transplanted on the rainy Thursday before heading north looked thirsty, with the sprouts of new growth all sadly toppled over. As I was watering it, I suddenly noticed there were two branches smothered with caterpillars that were devouring the older needles.

An internet search revealed these to likely be larvae of the sawfly. The dang things have denuded the upper half of the tree.

If this little pine survives I will be very impressed. We yanked it out of the ground just as it was sprouting new growth, we let it get too dry in its new location, and then it gets infested with needle-eating bugs.

Maybe it will make a good “Charlie Brown Christmas tree” next year.

That could actually turn out to be a precious sight… at least, for fans of that classic 1965 animated television special.

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Written by johnwhays

June 2, 2021 at 6:00 am

Nascent Blossom

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It looks like we have some mixed success with our transplanting of last year. The maple sapling we hoped would be our 3rd-time’s-a-charm in the center of the labyrinth is not showing signs of life. For comparison, I check the trees of similar size back in the area from which we moved him, to see progress of buds and leaves. They already have a lot of buds.

Sad.

The good news is with our trillium. I’m not sure we have 100% success, but any is better than none, and we definitely have a couple groups of blossoms.

DSCN4727eIt’s a long way from the┬ácarpet of flowers we get in the woods up at the lake place, but it’s a great start! The next excitement to celebrate will be the day we see them spreading naturally and bringing up new shoots nearby. That’s what we are hoping for anyway.

Since we have success transplanting small plants, I am tempted to just transplant a little seedling of a maple tree to the labyrinth to increase my odds of success. If I would have done that a few years ago, we’d probably now have one about the size of what I keep trying to move.

It is just so tempting to see a nice crown of leaves overhead in that spot. I’ll probably try again next fall. First, we’ll find one that looks like a good candidate when it is fully leafed out this summer, and we’ll mark it. Then when it drops its leaves and goes dormant, we’ll dig it up and move it.

Hoping the 4th time will be the charm.

Place your bets on which we will achieve first: a naturally spreading carpet of trillium blossoms in our woods, or a surviving transplanted maple tree in the labyrinth garden.

I’m going to keep trying to accomplish both. Practice makes perfect.

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Written by johnwhays

May 5, 2016 at 6:00 am

Still Hoping

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I wrote earlier about being on my third attempt to successfully transplant a young maple sapling to the center of our labyrinth. Each time, we have tried something a bit different from the time before, hoping to eliminate issues that contributed to those failures. This time, our method was to dig out as big a root ball as possible and transfer as much intact soil as we could, and to do so before the tree had leafed out.

DSCN3448eWe were a few days later than I had wanted, as the buds were just starting to open, but it was still better timing than the previous two attempts we had made. I was greatly relieved to see the buds continue to open and full leaves unfold about a week after we moved it.

I’m a bit like a nervous parent now, checking on it every chance I get, as if peeking in to see if our little baby is safe and sound while she naps. I thought the leaves looked a little droopy yesterday afternoon, but looking around at all the other trees of that size, plenty of them have that same look. I wondered if it might be a result of the shift back to colder temperatures.

There were frost warnings posted last night for central Wisconsin. No wonder the leaves are experiencing a little shrinkage!

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Written by johnwhays

May 13, 2015 at 6:00 am

Renewed Hope

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I have been purposefully mute about anything to do with the second tree we transplanted to the center of our labyrinth because I thought we had failed again and it hadn’t survived. It looked so good at first, but then suddenly the leaves all shriveled. Since it was early in summer, I figured the tree was doomed. How can a tree survive the long summer with no leaves? I didn’t want to waste any more time writing about it, talking about it, or thinking about it.

I dragged my feet when Cyndie suggested we just buy a tree to plant there. That’s not what I wanted, but I didn’t really offer an alternative. I figured, if I didn’t think about it for while, maybe the problem would go away.

It is possible that it did.

DSCN2083eYesterday when I was down mowing the labyrinth path, I glanced up at the branches when I got close to the center and there before my very eyes were some brand new leaves! Lots of them, actually. What a thrill! It may not be (forgive me for this) out of the woods yet, but for the time being, all is not lost. There is hope once again that it might survive.

And with that hope, we are feeling a wonderful boost of precious joy.

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Written by johnwhays

July 9, 2014 at 6:00 am