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Tree Update - June 29 2005

Six Weeks

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Its been six weeks since my new trees were planted.  These are the first progress photos.  Waterings have been once per week so far, give or take a few days, about 10 gallons per tree per time, as directed by Rainey Nursery.  200 ft. of hose barely reaches the farthest tree, and with dragging the hose around it can take 4 hours to finish it.  Most trees are doing well, so far.  One White Fir may be dying and the Sugar Maple appears to be a bit shocked.  About a half dozen of the pines have developed a few degrees of lean that will need to be corrected.  June has been a dry month and its apparent that more frequent watering is needed.  The hardiest specimens, transplant- and drought-wise, are clearly the Staghorn Sumacs, Black Hills Spruce, Douglas Fir, River Birch and the Magnolias.  Starting June 26th, I increased the watering frequency to twice per week.

My big Crab Apple has fallen and I also noticed its loaded with Japanese Beetles.  Some of them have found my Tulip Tree, and to a lesser extent my River Birch, although so far they haven't eaten much.  I've been told the Birch should be sprayed to control it.  That, and the removal of the Crab will be done the first week in July.

I haven't mowed my lawn in over a month, and I've now decided to make an experiment of letting it go to seed.  It will probably handle the drought better if its uncut.  Its the first time I've ever owned a "lawn".  When I bought the house I vowed I wasn't going to do squat with the yard except mow it, but, I bought a 25 gallon tow-behind sprayer and next year I plan to at least do some weed control and maybe some fertilizing.

    
The big Crabapple (left) was already split when I bought the property, but it had survived well.  It met its end in a June wind storm and will be removed soon (right).  I'm thinking I'll replace it with two Dawn Redwoods.

All three of the Douglas Firs are doing well and have grown 1/2 - 3/4 inches.

The Black Hills Spruce are doing great and have grown as much as 3 inches.
    
What appears to be a Chipping Sparrow (Spizella passerina) nesting in one of the new Spruce (left), and a shot of the eggs (right).  It stays put when I'm near unless I'm watering the tree, which I can do without wetting the nest.  As of June 30 the eggs had not hatched.  A second Chipping Sparrow nest with one egg in it is present in another Spruce.  I don't know if the second one is active or has been abandoned.  Curiously, on June 30 there were only 3 eggs in the pictured nest.

A Robin's nest in one of the Douglas Firs.  They were 5 days old on June 30, the date of the last watering, and I got them wet for the first time.  It was clear they appreciated it.  The temperature was above 90 deg. and they were moving their mouths to catch the water droplets.  There were two big ones, a mid-sized one and one runt.

The Dawn Redwood has leafed out nicely.  The crooked leader of this tree has me wondering if its an atypical specimen.

The Staghorn Sumacs are growing like weeds, which some may consider them to be anyway.  A dark-rust colored fruiting body is developing on this one (lower center of foliage).
    
The Pin Oak (left) and Red Oak (right) have leafed out nicely.  The viogor of both of these trees has surprised me.  The Red Maple (not shown) is equally leafy.

The Red Buds are already developing seed pods.

One of the two River Birch.  Both are doing well.

The 7 pears vary in leafyness.  Several have lots of bare branches, like this one.  Most were leafier at the time they were planted than at present.
    
The South White Fir is surviving so far (left), but I'm doubtful about the other one (right).  They have received equal amounts of water.

The Sugar Maple was fully-leaved and green when planted,
but most leaves now show die-back on about half of their
surface.  The leaf stems are still green and limber.
I figure if I can keep it from getting worse it may do OK.