Archive for the ‘bark’ Category

Tree for Novella Friday, April 9th, 2010

Dad, big sis and big bro plant little sister, Novella's, tree - Tilia cordata 'greenspire'

4-7-2010 was the day our 3rd child was born. Novella Jane Valentine. The Hub set off with the older kids and my mom to pick out a tree later in the day as is tradition with the birth of our children. Menards actually had a few container trees so he picked out a greenspire linden – Tilia cordata ‘greenspire’. I’d been there the day before and scouted out what they had – a couple different lindens, some maples and ton of crabapples and other fruit trees.

The rust-red bark of the greenspire linden (not one of them I’d covered in a previous post but sounds comparative to the other lindens mentioned) had caught my eye and I guess The Hub’s as well. So the tree got planted in our front yard giving space away from our house, the neighbors and a few feet clearance of any sidewalk should any surface roots pose any problems in a couple decades. Having been planted on the West side of the house it will create a much-needed shade during the hot late-summer afternoons and evenings for our house.

Most plants you can read planting instructions and take them at their word. But, when it comes to trees or shrubs and the tag reads to plant the top of the root ball even with the ground I’d encourage you to plant it shallower. Inevitably, once you’ve back-filled and watered a tree or shrub they tend to sink. Keep the top root above ground level and then mound the dirt up just covering the top root. A tree will survive if planted a little too shallow but not necessarily if planted to deep. Roots need the oxygen and this is more important on some species than others.

Tree specs:

  • 60′ tall x 30′ wide
  • pyramidal shape
  • fragrant yellow flowers in the summer
  • good fall color
  • our alkaline soil doesn’t always lend itself to optimum fall color here so I’m not holding my breath but the bark, asymmetrical heart-shaped leaves (most lindens have these) and summer flowers will give 3-seasons of interest.
easter bunny damage Saturday, April 3rd, 2010

Rabbit damage through the winter. Note the tell-tale litter of "raisins" underneath.

I’ve heard a bit on area-person’s bunny damage. Nipped branches, chewed bark ringing tree trunks at different levels depending on where the snow height was during that particular snack time, and piles of droppings under the most tasty and gluttonous of rabbit-dining experiences (at least they are leaving a very good fertilizer behind).

Today I took note of one of my own. An old cotoneaster bush at the SW corner of my house – a couple whole branches stripped of bark. This is minimal damage at best. So far I’m happy to report there have been no other casualties to note. My youngest trees/shrubs: a catalpa seedling, larch, forsythia and witch hazel don’t show any damage. I took extra care last fall to protect them. I utilized old circular tomato cages and set inside an additional lining of chicken-wire fencing or green plastic mesh. I made sure to go up to a good height knowing bunnies will skip along the tp of snow drifts and snip off any branches poking out from the protective icy layer.

The most noteworthy damage I’ve heard by a rabbit came from my parents. They’d just gotten back from a trip to find their internet connection down. After assistance from family and a call to the cable company followed by a technicians visit, it was determined that a rabbit had chewed through their cable in the crawl space under the house. Now that’s a hungry bunny.