Monday, April 02, 2007

Trees a Crowd

So maybe some of you - probably only personal friends, but who knows - wonder what it is that I do in between posts. Well, I do work, and with one car between two people and a long commute via the Long Island Rail Road for both of us, our weekdays are pretty much totally shot. That leaves the weekend, and since we're only just now entering our second year in our "new" house, we've still got a lot of work to do. This was part of the weekend just past:

That's 17 little baby trees, plus another just out of camera shot below the edge of the frame. And yeah, that's my kinda ugly back yard, which looks like it just got beaten up in a schoolyard fight. "You should see the other guy!" I'm working on it, though. When we first moved in, that entire grassy area above was nothing but a big mound of dirt with clumps of wild garlic growing out of it. Did you know garlic grows like a weed? Neither did I, but we've got it all over the place. Anyway, the back yard is better now. Someday it'll be a lawn.

This is the teeny tiny tree just out of the bottom of the frame above:

Awwww. How adorable. Hard to believe that within a few years it'll be pushing 60 feet, eh? (In all seriousness, I kinda doubt the conditions in my yard will permit that, and I hope they don't.)

So why plant 18 trees in my back yard? Privacy. You see that chain link fence above? That's my neighbor's. They seem like nice people and all, but I mean, this is my view whenever I'm outside:

We may as well be sharing a back yard. And I can kinda do without looking at garbage all the time. That's my neighbor's fence, too, and I didn't really want to put another one in front of it.

We needed to chop down an existing tree in order to make room for these, which we did all by ourselves. And let me tell you, hacking a tree to pieces with a chainsaw is probably the most effective way of waking yourself up in the morning. Removed the stump too. Wasn't even that hard, but then it was small. If you're interested in what kind of tree these are, they're Skyrocket Junipers (Juniperus Scopulorum), which grow straight up, not out. Ideal for a small yard without much space to lose.

Planting trees is not that difficult. It really is basically just digging a hole and plopping the tree in it. If you want to do it right, you take a little more care and make sure you line the hole with organic material, water it in, place the tree, cover with as much of its native soil as possible and as much new soil as necessary, then fertilize, mulch, and water some more. We did it mostly right, so hopefully our trees will do well and grow up nice and big.

Not that they're doing much good as a privacy screen now, but you gotta take the long-term view. See the big picture. Eventually, they'll look something like this:

Oh, and that little tiny tree below?

Well, they don't call it the "green giant" for nothing. These trees grow up to five feet per year. I got it to fill out some extra space in that corner and to break up the monotony of a row of skyrocket junipers.

I'll update maybe once a year so you can see how they're doing. Hoping to get some good growth this summer, and a useful screen within 3 years. I'm probably being optimistic, but a guy can dream, right? And I have such simple dreams.

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About This Blog

This is increasingly not a blog about Alphabet City, New York. I used to live in the East Village and work on Avenue B, but I no longer do. Why don't I change the name if I'm writing about Japan and video games and guitars? Because New Yorkers are well-rounded people with varied interests, and mine have gone increasingly off the rails over the years. And I don't feel like changing the name. I do still write about New York City sometimes.


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