Tag Archives: Arbor Day Foundation

Time to Spruce up the World?


Spruce

An undisclosed location. Two of three spruces ended up in the woods behind the fence. This one might be somewhere else. If asked, I can honestly say it was a conspiracy that also involved Ben.

Well, there are still 10 trees lurking out there in the world, supposed to be on their way from the Arbor Day Foundation—heaven knows what I’ll do with them when I get them.

In the meantime, the real reason Audrey joined the Foundation again and got her free trees is so she could purchase 50 white spruce trees at a discount for school children in Monticello. One of her classes did an environmental service project with several grades at Sacred Heart School, and each student received a spruce tree to plant.

There were 47 students. Teachers also wanted a tree each, but apparently the Arbor Day Foundation was playing it safe, and the bundle of 50 must have had more than 50, since there were still three trees left over.

It was cool and rainy today, and may snow tonight. We are in a transition from a warm and wonderful Thanksgiving to early winter, with highs in the 30s and lows in the 20s. It might flurry tonight.

The trees are dormant, and the instructions are to plant as soon as possible, so I put the three spruce in the ground today. They are also supposed to taste good to deer, so I caged them to give them a chance.

Too much to do and school is about to start for the final end-of-semester frenzy. I have oodles to work on, so it’s a good thing this is not a busy gardening time. But, I always feel better when I’ve dropped some trees in the ground—it’s such a hopeful gesture.

Sleep little spruce, and when spring comes around, wake up and grow. I hope most of the kids in Monticello found a good spot for their spruce twigs, too.

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Winter Feeding & Tree Breeding, Thoughts of Spring Crimes


Squirrel!

Squirrel! Enjoys a winter snack Dec. 5, early morning.

It was single-digit cold this fine sunny morning, and birds instantly appeared after I filled the feeders in back, including a cardinal couple, she being fairly quiet and polite to other birds, he being flamboyant, loud, and a bully.

Winter is definitely here in Iowa. No bulbs planted this fall, but that’s OK, I still need to acquire some irises my sister told me I could have sometime in the new year, and I think it’s time to let the gardens “rest” for once and see what comes up.

So, of course, my attention turns to trees. A squirrel reminds us how much pleasure in life can depend on the trees, as it snags a snack of some crabapples.

I had written in this blog some months ago about how, several years ago, I planted a package of trees from the Arbor Day Foundation, and what was supposed to be Goldenraintree were instead pears.

I really endorse the tree deals from the Arbor Day Foundation—10 trees for $10 is a heck of a deal. If you have some space and an inkling to plant very young trees, see their web site (link in previous paragraph), send them a modest payment, and you’ll get a cornucopia of woodsy plants.

And, years afterward, when the Foundation read of my pear impairment, they contacted me to tell me they would replace those trees. The Foundation mailed me replacement trees this week. However, what they sent me wasn’t just two Goldenraintrees, but the full package of trees that those two trees are part of—so now I have:

• 2 Sargent Crabapple
• 2 Eastern Redbud
• 2 Washington Hawthorn
• 2 Flowering Dogwood
• 2 Goldenraintree
• 1 Rose of Sharon

Even I, a self confessed tree nut, can’t possibly find homes for all those trees in my over-planted ¼ acre suburban lot. There is a creek bed behind the house, and, in a pinch, I can plant overflow trees back there, but that’s not my first choice, since to plant back there is pretty much to provide snacks to deer.

Anyway, I will for sure plant at least one of the Goldenraintrees. I should cut out the pears and plant both of the Goldenraintreees to replace them, but Audrey has balked about removing 12-foot trees and replacing them with 6-inch ones, even if the 12-foot trees might stink in the spring, so I’m not sure my original intentions will come to pass.

Well, a plum tree died last year in the lower yard, and its spot will be taken by one of these Goldenraintrees.

I’ll also put a Dogwood by the rock wall in the lower garden—just because Dogwoods of yesteryear are either store-bought and alive but not blooming, or long gone to tree Valhalla.

I’ll also find a home for the Rose of Sharon, maybe out front somewhere.

Assuming no rabbit attacks and that the trees all make in through winter, that leaves me with many orphans to find homes for. And, besides this set of Arbor Day trees, I’m going to be trying to germinate Ironwood over the winter, for no particular good reason I can think of other than I don’t have an Ironwood tree yet, they aren’t huge trees, and I like the name and seeds were readily available from a tree right next to the Warde Hall back door.

Cate, Katy, anybody? Want some trees? Right now, they are in planters in back, dormant in the cold, and it remains to be seen which will be alive in the spring. But, if history is any guide—I’ve planted several packs of Arbor Day trees—most, even possibly all, will awaken in the spring. And then they will need homes I can’t give them, unless it’s in the belly of a deer.

Besides the Crabapples, Redbuds, Hawthorns, a Dogwood and possibly a spare Ironwood or so (depends on germination), I may have a spare Catalpa tree, too. I planted one in my yard and one in a garden as a replacement if the yard one dies, and if both awaken in the spring, one will have to go. Most of the Arbor Day trees are small flowering, decorative types, and some are partly shade tolerant, so you don’t need to have a huge spot for them—the Catalpa is the outlier. It wants sun and space and can grow to be a very large, full-sized monster of a tree.

I’ll update in spring with what still lives, but as soon as school is out in May, I’m willing to visit your house and plant a tree for you.

Perhaps at midnight. Maybe without telling you …

Slideshow of trees for adoption, most images from Arbor Day Foundation, one (Ironwood) from Tennessee DNR, one (Catalpa) from Ohio DNR:

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Arbor Day Acts to Fix Tree Problems


Wow.  I owe a thanks to the Arbor Day Foundation.

Sent a whiny note to them about the evil trees they sent me.

Got this e-mail from Arbor Day. E-mailed them a link to my blog from their web site. They replied very quickly and will send the missing Goldenraintrees. Well, that's about as good as it gets, I suppose.

See their response.

Good folks at the Arbor Day Foundation, and they’re doing what they can, as quickly as possible, to correct the issue I raised.

Anybody want 10 trees? I don’t have room for 10 more, but feel like ordering something from the Arbor Day Foundation. And, as I said in my previous blog post, they really do offer good deals.

Out of 20 trees planted several years ago, around half survive and are growing nicely.

Thank you, Arbor Day Foundation!

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