Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tree Inspection

Cold and blustery, real November weather.  In the 40s.

Yesterday Mike DeSanto from Bartlett came to give me an estimate on some pruning work for winter.  I had asked to have them prune the two maples (to be able to walk under them, and to have the canopies thinned and shaped).  The dogwood in front and the Norway maple also need some shaping.

While he was here we had a nice tour of the gardens.  He is so sweet... asking about all my plants.  I love talking to him.  He actually took notes on some things I have that he wants to try in his own garden!  He asked about some perennials and seems to really value my expertise.  He was very complimentary of how everything is looking in my yard.  What an ego trip for me.

I asked him to look at the flat topped black gum out back.  He showed me something I had never noticed:  it had its leader cut a long time ago and has not reestablished a vertical shoot to take its place.
It was this way when I bought it (I looked at the photo I took when it was first planted and sure enough, there is the sideways top shoot, angled off from the top).

My only hope is to try to stake it so the top side branch is pulled upward, and over time it may lock into that position.

It really needs some kind of help, look at how flat it has been growing.  I can't believe I never saw that chopped off leader in the container plant I bought!

And here it is after my pathetic staking effort today.  It was impossible to drive the big wooden spike into the ground, even though the soil was damp.  And the velcro straps are ugly.  It will need to stay like this for several seasons.

I also did some pruning of the paperbark maple, to cut off a side branch on the left that was making  it unbalanced on that side.  A before and after photo follows:

before pruning the branch on the left

after
Today I did some more clean up: cut back the iris and the crocosmia foliage.

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