Saturday of the Trees (solsc) 2/31



Lately I’ve been bugged by how close my apple tree is growing to my mandarin orange tree. It seems like it’s going to just push it out of the way. I’m sure that when they were planted they seemed far enough apart, but not anymore. The Mandarin is huge and fruitful and the apple is not as huge and definitely not as fruitful. My town is very hot in the summer and not really the best environment for apples, and honestly, I just value the Mandarins more than I do the apples. So recently I decided I had to do something about it before the apple got any bigger.

At first I thought I’d just get someone to cut it down – cut my losses, so to speak, but that seemed harsh. So a couple of weeks ago I spoke with a Nurseryman at the Farmer’s Market and he told me how to cut it way back and then dig it up. He said that it should have a small top to balance with the root ball, so the roots didn’t have too much to support at first. That made sense to me, and so I decided I would transplant my apple tree.  I went home and wiggled it a little, and it seemed pretty loose, so I thought this was a project I could handle. He warned me that it had to be done within two weeks before it blossoms, so last Saturday was the day. I talked it over with my son and he agreed we could do it this weekend. I especially liked that idea. The “We” part really appealed to me.

Saturday morning dawned cold and clear, with a sky full of puffy clouds. I was still in the aftermath of my coffee temper tantrum of the day before, but I went out for coffee with my friends anyway. As I left the cafe, having reinvigorated my grouchiness by talking about it, I decided I needed a walk, so I headed out to the tree farm. Do you have one of those in your town? It is so beautiful, and the perfect place to let go of a head of steam. I walked and took pictures, stopped to meditate for a few minutes and then went home to face the apple tree. (Below is a shot of the bamboo grove at the tree farm. So cool!)

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When I arrived home, my son was gone, as I suspected he would be, so I got out the shovel and got started without him. I trimmed the top, then began to dig. I dug and jiggled and dug and jiggled until finally I had a root ball loosened. My plan was to replant it at my daughter’s house. She has an acre of prime topsoil where I’m sure it’ll be happy. At least I hope it will. I found the sheet I use to cover plants in the frost and wrapped it around the root ball. This tree was so heavy. It was beginning to get sort of big, but I was determined about this course of action. I pulled and carried, and finally stuffed it in the back of my Prius and off I went. I dug another hole, in that lovely topsoil and planted it in its new home. I came back and filled in the hole in my yard, and with arms scratched and bleeding and an aching body, I rested, satisfied with myself. Now to figure out how close I can plant a lemon tree out by the Mandarin. Buying a house that’s got a landscaped yard isn’t without responsibility! It’s an ongoing experience, and I wear my gardening battle scars happily.

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8 thoughts on “Saturday of the Trees (solsc) 2/31

  1. Kim says:

    That sounds like quite a Saturday project. Just look at the green in your pictures. We haven’t seen green here in Maine since October! I’m sure your daughter will have many happy years of apples with that tree and I love that it was transplanted with love and care.

  2. Katy Collins says:

    Oh my! I think your yard is just beautiful! All that green. We are suffering through a long winter here in Missouri, and your pictures were like a breath of fresh air. I love your description of the whole process– so vivid and clear! Great slice!

  3. Amanda says:

    I {love} your photos – I think we’ve crossed paths on a prior year’s SOLSC or through other NWP events. And in reading your post about your lovely trees, I had to know where you hailed from – of course, Chico! My husband and I attended the Tech Matters conference there in 2007 and were seriously considering a cross-country move! Especially after experiencing the street fair/farmer’s market!

    Thanks for sharing your post today! I love the determination with which you moved that apple tree. I find the tension between your head of steam and frustration and your inability to simply be rid of the tree interesting.

    Thanks again and I hope to connect again throughout the month! Sometimes I find it’s tricky to establish a sense of community and get connected with so many slicers!

  4. Patricia Kaiser says:

    I loved this post Lynn! It’s wonderful that your daughter will reap the benefit of the “new” tree, and I’m sure it will do well in its new home. Just this week-end I was planting away and noticed that I may have planted one new plant too close to a neighbor, but then I thought, well, if it gets too big I’ll just move it. Easier said than done! You’ve inspired me to move it already before it gets any bigger! xoxo

  5. lynnjake says:

    Hi Amanda. I do remember you – I think we’ve met, but I don’t know when or where! I agree that it’s hard to really connect with people when there are so many. This has started out fun. I hope I can keep up with it. Thanks for your thoughtful comment. I appreciate you taking the time to do so.

  6. lynnjake says:

    Oh, Katy, I don’t envy you the long winter. I grew up in Iowa and I remember stomping slush piles well into what should have been Spring. I do worry about our ongoing water shortage, however. Thanks for reading and for commenting!

  7. lynnjake says:

    OH thank you. I hope it lives in its new setting! I’ve been going to check on it, and so far it looks good! Thanks for reading and commenting. I hope it warms up in Maine soon.

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