Thursday, September 20, 2012

More Tree Planting

I had some anxiety about transporting such tall trees. Bundled and tied. Cushioned over the tailgate with cardboard. No super fast highway speeds. They don't look like they've lost a leaf. The prior trees that I transported the same way, have settled in and none the worse. So I think these will too.
Aspen. I saw it at the nursery and that was that. Raymond will like that. Aspens have an amazing ability. Clones with tens of thousands of trees, all originate with one seedling. Some aspens in the US have not propagated from seed since the last ice age. They just continue sending up new shoots. The shoots remain connected together, resulting in what is considered the world's largest organism. I love the description, "the leaves dance in the slightest breeze". That was true even for this little specimen. It's a bit crooked, but perfection is not an option. Each crook, each bend, each asymmetry, makes beauty. None of these are lollypop trees. It will fill out and reach upward with time. Especially important, a stake made from aspen wood is one of the few weapons that can be used to kill vampires. With all of the garlic I grow, however, I shouldn't need an aspen stake. Aspens are also known to drive off evil spirits. There are some disease problems for aspens in the Pacific Northwest, but if it grows, awesome!
This maple was super cheap. Looking at the wounded trunk, I'm not surprised. The buyer is aware.
The trunk has a slash about 1/3 the circumference of the trunk, with some evidence of healing. The healing tells me it's not new, and the tree has survived so far. I did not trim the wound, or paint it. Painting is discouraged by tree experts. It did not appear to need trimming. We planted with the damaged side to the South, so it would dry faster after rain. At $18.00 this is a big tree, and it's not much of an investment, so if it doesn't survive, not a lot lost. I've seen worse damage that was overcome with minor care.
I kept thinking, can such a tall tree have such a small root ball and survive? It must have - this is the end of summer, and this tree was surely in the container all summer long. There were only a couple of potentially girdling roots. I pruned them.
Maple planted. This variety is called "Summer Red". With that wound, it might be "Summer Brown" but I enjoy a challenge and I have pretty good success with nurturing wounded and sick plant life.
Mountain ash. This was also a $18.00 tree, tall tree with small root mass. Again, not much by way of encircling roots. I thought that was odd. Pruned the ones that looked like potential problems. I tasted one of the berries. Bitter! Awful!

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