Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Moving a pair of HazelNut Trees

Squirrels were getting all of the nuts. I misjudged how much room these 2 hazelnut trees would need. They are too big for the space. They get lots of nuts at that size.  But without a raptor perched in the branches to feast on squirrels, there is no chance of me getting nuts. I wanted to cut them down. With more room, I moved them to the Battleground place. Even if the squirrels still get the nuts, the trees will give some privacy from the road. Plus, there actually is a raptor in the nearby trees.

I like hazelnuts.  It would be great if I get to eat some!  Come on squirrels, leave me just one!  According to wikipedia, "The Celts believed hazelnuts gave one wisdom and inspiration." also "The Hazel Branch, from Grimm's Fairy Tales, claims that hazel branches offer the greatest protection from snakes and other things that creep on the earth."  

It's hard to tell here.  There are 2 trees.  Each is about 8 or 9 feet tall.  The trunks are about 2 inches diameter.  These are 2 varieties of grafted hazelnut tree.  There are many sub-trunks sprouted from below the graft.
First, I removed all of the sub-trunks.  They did not have catkins.  I don't know if they would have produced nuts in a few years.  I wanted to stick with the named varieties.  This removes about 10 or 20% of the growth.  Which makes up for much of the root that will be lost in digging.
The branches are tied up to make it easier to dig and manipulate the trees.  I find that trees are quite fearful of being dug up, and tend to lash out at me with their branches.  Firm but gentle tying keeps them calm, and keeps my face free of lacerations.
The usual circular trench, with a twist because these trees are one foot apart.  That was a Backyard Orchard Culture technique.  I was stretching the technique by applying to hazelnut trees.  But for the squirrel issue, however, I think it worked.
This is a bit like separating conjoined tree twins.  Rather than causing more root trauma individually unraveling intertwined roots, I sliced between them with the shovel.  They didn't have as much root mass as I suspected.  As bare-root trees, I think the roots were compact at the beginning, and had not extended as far as a seed-grown tree might have extended.
I slid them up a board, covered with a well-tied tarp for protection.
My "thing" at the moment is mycorrhizal innoculant.  This is "Mykos".  Sprinkled on the roots for promotion of better root mass and drought resistance. I don't know if that really works.  I sprinkled about a quarter cup, guessing, throughout the root mass.  I pruned broken or torn roots to a clean cut.
Planted.  Charlie was such a help.  I left branches with catkins in place.  Since I removed a fair amount of below-the-graft growth, I think the roots can support making some nuts next year.  Minimal touch-up pruning was needed.  A few broken twigs, a couple of crossed branches.  I tipped the highest branches to outward facing buds, to encourage spread.
I also moved a Cotinus coggygria 'Royal Purple' Smoke tree from the house in Vancouver. I really misjudged. I thought it would be a bush, at most 5 feet tall. It was 8 foot this year. So I pruned it back to help move it, and moved it to this location too. I don't know why I didn't look it up when I bought it - they can be 15 or 20 feet tall. This will be a better spot.  I'll keep it as multi-trunk.  It will be nice to look out the window at this tree.

The root mass was small.  It's about 3 years old.  It was very easy to dig up and move.  I read that deer don't like them.  The deer will let me know if that's true.
My other helper. He mostly helps by running off and barking at falling leaves. When siting here, he looks so noble.
This bush has maroon leaves through the summer and brilliant leaves in the fall. This photo was Oct 10.

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