2015-05-06 / Loose Ends

Sticks in the Mud

Loose Ends
Susan Nienow

Susan NienowSusan NienowWhat is that saying? “Be careful what you wish for”? It also applies to what you sign up for. Now, I have done this before so was not surprised. I contributed to the Arbor Day Foundation and received a gift of 10 trees.

That is a slight exaggeration. They are sticks. I did this once before and planted the sticks in the ground. The plan was to transplant them when they got big enough. Anyway, that was the plan.

Of the 10, I have a redbud tree that is about 12 feet high and a crabapple tree. I did this when we first moved into this house and planted all 10 sticks a row.

They have paint slashes on the bark indicating which stick is which; however, I lost that piece of paper so had to wait until they grew and had leaves before I knew which was which.

Most of them did grow until I got busy and didn’t water them one summer. Now I have three trees in that approximate place and am pretty sure that is where they came from. The problem is that I don’t want two of them that place now, but they are way too big transplant.

I can learn. I am framing that paper with the color code chart and hanging it on the wall my office. I am also going to plant each one in its own pot with a tag on each. And I am going to water them. In the end I should have 10 flowering trees and two crape myrtles, although I could lose some through no fault of my own.

With pots I can keep them growing until they are old enough to fend for themselves out in the wild. We will have to cage the new trees to protect them from rutting deer each fall. I can hardly wait to tell my other half we will need 12 cages. He will be excited, I know. Plus it isn’t just 12 cages. As they grow, the cages have to be bigger.

I am in favor of planting trees. I would have loved Johnny Appleseed. Generally I am not in favor of buying tiny trees. Because these are small trees when full grown, they grow a little faster than an oak, for example. But still, it will be years before I get many blooms from them. And I didn’t buy these, exactly. I made a donation.

Someday they will be beautiful! Just as I hope the mystery shrub I bought will be beautiful. It didn’t have a tag and was in the clearance section. Even the nursery people didn’t know what it is. They wouldn’t take a guess on the eventual size. So I will put it in my mystery plant nursery. I have two perennials in there now.

Once things grow leaves, it is much easier to identify. I can take a picture with my phone and post it on Facebook asking for help with an ID. Does anyone have easy instructions on how to do that? The picture taking I can do, but the posting part is a little iffy.

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