Thursday, September 19, 2019

Planting trees

No, I did not hit the LP pig. Thanks for asking.

Apologies for the light posting recently.

The Captain's wife (henceforth to be known as "Sprite") had a memorial service for the Captain and requested trees and shrubs instead of flowers.

It took me three hours today to plant the last five trees.

She wanted the trees planted where she could see them. She wanted them planted where they would thrive, knowing some like damp and some like dry. She wanted them planted where whoever mowed the lawn would be unlikely to mow them down. She did not want the vista to the south and southwest obstructed.

I could work with that.

Many of the trees were evergreens and it made sense to work them into the windbreak west of the Captain and Sprite's house. The complication was that the only logical place to plant them was already filled with dead-and-dying Lombardy Poplar.

Planting today's trees entailed cutting out the Lombardy Poplar. Humping out the wood. Chipping holes through the roots and construction fill and then finally sticking the trees. Sprite's son, Sparky, is going to finish cleaning up the mess I made.

Mrs Captain had been given about twenty trees and shrubs. All twenty are now in the ground. She also expects gifts to keep trickling in AND she has a hefty gift certificate at a local nursery.

She is going to sit on the gift certificate. She has a lot on her plate right now.

A few details
Most of the gift trees were well thought-out choices.

To my surprise, most of the trees were tough natives...Sugar Maples, White Spruces and White Pines, even a Tupelo tree!!! Also some shade tolerant, flowering trees, i.e. Redbud and Flowering Dogwood.

A smattering of the gifts were Blue Spruce, a beautiful tree that has become increasingly fragile in the humid mid-West. These might work OK in the windbreak where they will have unlimited sun and good air flow but even then they might only make it thirty years. So that is where they went.

Incidentally, some alternatives to Blue Spruce are Concolor Fir (soft needles with excellent fragrance) and Douglas Fir (inland landraces). In time, pests and diseases might start knocking these species down but for now they are safe choices, at least in southern Michigan.

A few of the gifts were apple trees and they were planted in the orchard.

One Norway Maple and three (dwarf) Alberta Spruce rounded out the menagerie.

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