Sunday, May 11, 2014

Peak Spring

The grass is so green it pulsates.

Asian Pears, Sweet Cherries, Viburnum carlesii and its hybrids are blooming.  Dandelions are mocking the sun.  Ground Ivy is almost pretty.  Oak of the White Oak clan are pushing catkins and will soon be pollinating, much to the dismay of allergy sufferers.

The local woods display an immodest amount of feral sweet cherry seedlings.  It is a pity I cannot walk those woods and sample the goods.  The world's greatest sweet cherry may be lurking nearby and who is to know?  Kids don't wander woods.  They have no need as they can access "the world" through their smart phones.

I am grafting like a crazy man.  Today I was grafting mostly oak and chestnuts.

I received a care package from Lucky Pittman and I have pretty much grafted every stick in it except for some southern pears.  I also threw in some scionwood from one of my Idaho Sweet Burr Oak seedlings.  In my humble opinion, Burr Oak (Q. macrocarpa) have the most interesting range of leaf shapes of any tree.

All of the chestnut scionwood came from Bill Nash.  It was a brutal winter.  Some of the scionwood shows necrosis near the buds.  And that dead tissue is on cultivars that have proven hardy in Michigan for over thirty years.

I come home beat and dehydrated.  My muscles are sore.  I am tired.  And I am so very happy.  This is what I envisioned retirement to be.  Taking little portions of the world, like my dad's old orchard and my ten acres, and bringing it to vibrant, productive good health.

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