Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays’ take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘volunteer trees

Disappearing House

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Two years ago, in the springtime, I mounted a bird house on the tall stump of a pine tree that had died, and then I took a picture of it.

Even then, two tiny volunteer tree sprouts can be seen making an appearance at the base.

When squirrels bury acorns, trees often follow. When oaks sprout, we are not in a hurry to remove them, even when they appear in locations that may not be ideal. Who doesn’t want more oak trees surrounding them?

The same can’t be said for the scourge of box elder, common buckthorn, and thorny American plum that overtake all the neglected spaces along property lines and ditches. When they try to spread their way into our managed grounds, they meet with swift action.

This is what two years of oak growth looks like when you let nature do its thing:

Where did the bird house go?

It is reaching the point where some serious pruning is warranted to convert this little oak shrub into a future healthy tree.

While I’m on the subject of trees, I will report a surprising turn of events for a lot of the long needle pine trees that were looking like goners last year. Many have produced an amazing effort to sprout green needles on almost all of the lower portions that looked completely dead last fall.

For the previous several years, the pines would try to sprout new growth on the dead-looking lower branches in the spring, but it proved futile in just a matter of weeks afterward.

This summer they seem to be enduring just fine. Temporary reprieve? Or, signs of hope for a future full-recovery?

We’re going to imagine it a step toward recovery. It is helping me to understand the amazing resilience of growing things, and justifies my tendency to be slow in making decisions about giving up on plants without giving them the potential of another season to get over whatever might be dragging them down.

Maybe soon I will be able to remove the bird house from the stump and hang it from a branch in a new maturing oak tree in our front yard. Not that I think that pine stump will be making a comeback anytime in the future.

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Written by johnwhays

August 10, 2017 at 6:00 am

Maples Everywhere

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Maybe we shouldn’t be trying so hard to get a maple tree to grow in the center of our labyrinth. In areas where we have put no effort to entice new maple trees, they are popping up like weeds! If we wait long enough, I’m sure the labyrinth will be filled with new volunteer maple saplings.

New maple trees are flourishing beneath the large poplar tree next to the shop.

Maples are sprouting among the ferns by the basement window.

They are rising from the perennial ground cover growing by the back fire pit.

Lastly, the new trail I opened up behind the woodshed looks like a nursery for maple trees.

If there is any justice in this world, the maples we have to remove due to their poor choice of root will be offset by one successful transplant taking hold where we want it to grow most.

Happily, this spring all signs are good that it has survived the winter with enough energy to sprout leaves. The next question enshrouding our hopefulness is, will the leaves survive the full length of summer?

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Written by johnwhays

May 16, 2017 at 6:00 am