Sunday, April 9, 2017

Replant: And thin no more!

Hazelnut bush showing long, caterpillar-like catkins (boy parts) and red, feathery pistils (the girl parts) on the tips of the buds.  I guess you could say these are the original sex pistils.
It is an act of hope to plant.

It is an act of hope and faith to replant; faith that the future might be better.

Last spring I planted a row of hazelnuts near the southwest corner of my property.  Then, starting May 15, it stopped raining.  We experienced almost no precipitation again until August 15 when normal rainfall resumed.

The wheat farmers were ecstatic.  They experienced yields of 150, even 170 bushels an acre due to the fact that the ground was saturated prior to May 15 and then we had months of warm, relentless sunshine and no storm winds.

For those of us who had  planted nursery stock...life was not so excellent.  Only one of the sevenish hazelnuts appeared to survive.

Replant
I keep a very small nursery going on my property.  Michigan has laws against the moving of unregistered nursery stock.  I was informed that the fines are up to $500 per "stem".  So it pays to buy itty-bitty plants by the hundred and size them up on the parcel where you intend to plant them.

These are hazelnuts purchased from the National Arbor Day Foundation.  They are not allowed to divulge the origins of their seed-stock but the description they give of their parent trees sounds very much like Badgersett Hybrid Hazelnuts.

This is what a bucket of hazelnut seedlings looks like.  It is impossible to predict the quality of the nuts they will produce because they are seedlings.
A hole for planting.
...and thin no more!
That busted off stick in the center of the frame is one of the old, dead hazelnut bushes.
It had been my habit to rip out the dead and to plant the replacement in the same hole.  I have since amended that policy.  I now plant to the side of the old plant and don't thin out the old one.

I could blather on about the possibility of pathogens building up in the old hole or a bunch of other tripe.  But those are not the real reasons.
This is a close-up of the base of the busted off stick shown in the prior photo.
The fact of the matter is that I am leaving God some swing his arms.  Miracles are more likely to occur when you give God a little bit of breathing room and you don't do your best to snuff the miracle before it is born.

The base of the busted off stick has a bud pushing.  And since the old plant is a named cultivar, it is much more likely to bear good nuts than the seedling.

The hazelnuts are marked with surveyor's tape.
It is an act of hope and faith and partnership to "Replant: And thin no more!"

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