Leaves are gone now, and some trees look better undressed than clothed. The spectacular weather gives one hope through the working days as we get ready for spring by tucking in our little buddies in fresh wood chips, respacing them appropriately, and generally cleaning up. We drive back and forth all day, and these birches breathe fresh life into my soul on sunny days when I see them like this. I planted them ~35 years ago, no more than five feet tall and as thick as my pinky at the time.
Well-fed trees shed their bark from now through March, a wondrous feat of nature as the branch cambium and xylem adds another ring then the trunk does the same thing. They alternate back and forth yearly and it is this overlapping tissue that gives trees their strength. On birches it’s extremely important to properly feed them if the whiteness of the bark is what you are shooting for.
This is the size of our birch trees-$160 for five gallon 8-9’ tall trees. Active, happy trees, even with no leaves.
It musta been about fifteen years ago that I ceased my applications of pest control on our plants. Since then, our nursery has been FILLED to the brim with life. Insects, wasps, bees, birds of every description. When the leaves fall, the birds nests become visible. Sometimes I collect them. Their construction is amazingly amazing, and to think that they lived there all year without my knowledge is a testament to evolution.
This is a birds nest I’ve never seen before. It looks like a Japanese restaurant hand roll or a cone without the ice cream. It’s small, about 2.5” across and about 3.5” deep. I’m going to get it and bring it into the store where I have a little collection of nests. Cool!!!
We make our own soils with lots of organic matter that needs to cool off by turning the pile over and over every few days. Steam rises.
I used to be an aggressive skier, and this scene reminded me this morning of the tops of mountains out west when the wind had its way with the snow. Funny how sometimes dusty memories pop up at work during mundane tasks.
Sod is available year-round at the nursery, and this morning we had to lay out yet another delivery that came in this morning. Two year old bluegrass sod, same exact stuff as Yankee stadium- same sod farm.
We just potted two hundred “Asclepias incarnata,” the number one BEST butterfly-attracting perennial. You can see how white and active the roots are now. Fall potting rocks. Spring warmth wakes em up and we then find plants five times bigger than this little fella.
This cocoon caught my eye on a columnar hornbeam. I brought the branch closer to look.
These are indeed the ridged hornbeam leaves covered by some sort of fabric woven and rolled into some sort of golf ball- sized sleeping bag for junior.
A perfectly round entry or exit or ventilation hole was on the top. It wasn’t empty- that I could tell from the weight. I’ll find out what it is and report back. If you love Mother Nature, get off the couch and go through the woods. There’s cool stuff to be found out there, at least I find it more and more interesting as I go through more and more seasons.
Found out what it is!
Here is the link to info about this moth:
Every fall we cluster trees together and scoop up the rotted wood chips and add them to the top soil pile for inclusion into the screening of the soil. We then rerow the trees and consolidate using fresh wood chips. When we do this, we get to see the root systems- active and spreading or non-existent and feeble.
When I see activity like this, it to me is a reaffirmation that the way we maintain our trees WORKS. Happy roots here = happy trees at your house!
Weeping hornbeam tree hid an industrious family this summer. Birds here at the nursery help clean the nursery by picking up plastic twine and smallish bits of trash for incorporation into their cribs. A great sign of mankind’s abuse of nature, having them pick up after us.
tRUMP folks enthusiastically rooting their hero on yesterday with honks sounding all day. Signs that say “stop the steal” in an attempt to protest the election results. I guess fervent political expression is better than apathy...
It's freedom of speech I guess, but the loud spectacle brought discord on an otherwise serene and beautiful Saturday afternoon in Connecticut.