the ties that bind

Feeling slightly under the weather the last few days, which is a good excuse for continued laziness, though I did manage to do one thing.

all tied up and no place to go

I bought this fastigiate blue spruce quite a while ago, without looking at the price tag (lesson learned) and when it was rung up at the desk I didn’t want to feel foolish so I pretended to know how much it was and that it made no difference. Good thing it’s still alive.

The blizzard of March ’03 bent all the branches downward, and even though, genetically, a fastigiate conifer yearns to grow bolt upright, it took years for it to recover its shape, so now I wrap it. Wet, heavy snow just slides down to the ground now.

Noticed this crocus blooming yesterday. For years, I wondered why I spent extra money on rare, or relatively rare, crocuses and nothing happened, until it dawned on me that anything-but-rare rodents liked the bulbs even better than I did. I now plant them four or five inches deep and put a cage around them. Works better than putting a little “No Rodents” sign next to the bulbs.

Crocus longiflorus

The dog, who does even less than I do, noticed a leaf in the grass today. We lead a very busy, full life.

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2 Responses to the ties that bind

  1. Lucie K. says:

    Christo would approve. Would this wrapping treatment be advised in the case of the six-foot-tall Cupressus arizonica I recently planted? It came all the way from Grand Junction in Kenton’s truck, so I would like to save myself the embarrassment of it dying by spring.

    • paridevita says:

      No, but I would strongly recommend watering the daylights out of it until at least Thanksgiving. If you don’t have a root-watering tool, then the tree itself can be watered—the foliage–and the water will drip down into the root ball, which I bet is much smaller than the amount of above-ground material. Conifers also absorb water through their leaves (despite what you may read to the contrary on the internet).
      Cypresses don’t form buds that overwinter, they just stop growing.
      I have cages made out of rabbit wire that I use to cover new cypresses; the cages are about 6 feet tall. Anchored with stakes, which are rebar. Then I wrap the whole thing with burlap, tie it with string or rope. The wind usually makes short work of that, and I make repairs in the burlap with duct tape. Very attractive, of course.
      The point of this is that I assume, with a smallish rootball and large amount of foliage, that the new cypresses have difficulty fully hydrating prior to dormancy, and the burlap helps water loss through the foliage. Takes two or three winters (and summers of watering) before the tree has sufficient roots to support the foliage.


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