• Tag Archives elm
  • Uh-oh

    Imbolc                                       Woodpecker Moon

    A chain saw morning.  Certain trees, elm and oak in particular, have windows of time when pruning does not expose them to disease:  dutch elm disease and oak wilt.  One of those windows is late winter, a window the weather gods seem determined to close early this year.

    We had some pruning on what I think of as the three sisters, three oaks growing close together on the northern edge of our garden, and on the lone young elm that resides just inside the garden fence, also on the northerly side.

    Chain saws do not like old gas, gas over 30 days in the tank, so each time I use the chain saw we have to get fresh gas, toss some two-cycle oil in it, then cranker’up.  Kate got me a gallon yesterday afternoon while she was out.  I adulterated it this morning, poured the old gas out of the chainsaw, filled it with fresh gas/oil.  It needed bar and chain oil, too, a gunky, thick oil that lubricates the chain and the bar around which it spins.  Added that.

    In the oak’s case I had to use a ladder, not a real wise idea with a chain saw, but in true stupid home owner fashion, I went ahead anyhow.  On my behalf I am very careful with the chain saw and felt this was a risk I could handle.  Worked out ok.

    The elm did not require the ladder.

    The limbs and branches are down.  At some future point I’ll limb them and cut them up for brush or firewood, probably firewood since we purchased a steel fire pit at the end of last summer and have yet to install it.

  • Acts of Omission

    Fall                                                                      Waning Autumn Moon

    Went out in a cool fall afternoon, cut open bags of composted manure, spread them with a cultivator, working it into the soil.  Poured leaves from our trees over the top.  An investment in next year’s garden, the last act of the gardening year.

    The ash tree in the garden has no leaves.  I wonder about its future with the ash borer; it may die, leaving a large part of our garden open to the sun again.  In that sense its death would be a good thing, but it’s one of several trees I decided to let grow, early when we moved here.

    I cut down a whole grove of black locust, a fine wood for posts and other uses, but bearers of large thorns.  In that grove was a young ash, a young elm and three young oaks.  Instead of removing them, I left them and now 17 years later they are all young adults, grown tall and filled with leaves.  All over the property I have practiced this let it alone arborism and there are now mature trees in several spots.

    They’ve grown up here as we have grown older here.  I feel a special bond with them and this ash in particular because it’s in the center of our garden.

    Over the years I’ve wondered how often our acts of omission, not cutting down these young trees for example, influence the future in positive ways.  What about those acts I chose not to commit?  The grudges I let go.  The times when we leave well enough alone not out of avoidance, but out of love.  It’s hard to tell in human lives, but in the instance of trees, it’s very clear.