I resumed daily walkabouts around our property line after the snow melt and noticed the toll taken on our trees. Of 15 remaining trees, all but one of which I planted, only six have no apparent issues.
Most of them are damaged from either the 2020 derecho, or from one or more of the straight line wind events we’ve had in recent years. Disease is creeping into the two EarliBlaze apple trees as lower branches blacken, die, and are cut off in pruning.
The Green Ash by the house appears to be doing well. We expect the Emerald Ash Borer to take it eventually, although there had been no infestation as of yesterday.
The Bur Oak is native to Iowa and is also doing well. Planted in the 1990s, it will come to dominate the front yard as years progress. It is a good tree. In the backyard there is a Bur Oak planted from an acorn from the one in front. There were three oak trees planted from acorns near the garden at the same time. Two of them blew a kilter during the derecho. I removed one last year and the other needs to come down. The backyard Bur Oak that will remain is flourishing.
The pear tree planted at our daughter’s high school graduation party is thriving. We all placed some kind of organic matter in the hole before planting it. Most years we get pears. They are sweet and juicy and some years there are enough to put up pear sauce. The only issue is it is growing too tall to collect all the ripe fruit. It was a nice addition to the back yard.
The two apple trees planted near the garden have been growing acceptably. I hope they begin to fruit before the three remaining apple trees have faded and are gone.
It is unclear what to do about the trees this spring. I considered taking scions from the Red Delicious tree and growing new from the same genetics. The trouble is it will take from six to eight years for them to grow to maturity and fruit. That’s too long for a septuagenarian to wait.
I planted lettuce. My maternal grandmother passed down the tradition of planting “Belgian lettuce” on March 2. Usually it is to be direct seeded, although the ground was still frozen. I honored the tradition by planting a flat indoors for transplant into a row covered planting area. Spring is coming and we’ll want lettuce when it arrives.