Archive for June, 2012

Finishing The Work

It’s been an interesting month or so.  First, my Hauer Pippin tree had ants and aphids.  I bought diatomaceous earth which kills ants, but it’s been windy around my place, so it didn’t work too well.  Eventually, I used the old “kill it with my thumb” method.  That has worked pretty well.  I still see a few ants and aphids here and there, but i’m killing them with my thumb.  Not exactly permaculture or a holistic approach, but i’m working toward it.  I’m a newbie for goodness sake!  A few of the other trees had ants and aphids, but none of them like the Hauer.  Speaking of which, I need to name that tree still.  I named the Newton Pippin this week.  It’s named after Arthur Hill and Central Michigan standout, Brian Pruitt.  He played ball here and was a huge reason that CMU was any good in the early/mid 1990’s.  So, I have four of the six trees named.  Well, seven trees if I count the Bollosh Tree…maybe that’s what i’ll call that one.  It was given to me by the Bollosh Family, but it’s doing pretty poorly.  Most of the leaves are dead.  There are a few that are still green, but we moved the tree at the wrong time, it sat in the sun for most of one day, fell over once, was not watered properly for the first week or so, and it’s a dwarf tree to begin with.  This is the tree I was talking about at the beginning of the previous post.  Maybe i’ll call it BFT for Bollosh Family Tree.  They were the ones that gave me the mulch, some great black dirt, ramial chips, and brought it to my house.  Good thing he works at a golf course and has all that stuff on hand!

Speaking of mulch, I finally got my project finished.  I had to rake out the growth first.  There was a lot of plant life too close to the tree for my comfort.  These trees need to have no competition in the first few years.  After I raked out each tree, I put down the rest of the compost amendment that I got when I ordered the trees.  I had only put 1/3 of a bag on each tree, so I put an additional 2/3 of a bag on each tree.  Then, I scooped some of the black dirt I had gotten into a wheelbarrow and dumped it around the tree.  After that, the layer of ramial chips were laid down.  They were from the bottom of the mulch pile at the golf course, that’s also why I had some black dirt.  After those were down, I put a layer of regular chips on top.  I think this will be pretty good.  It already looks nicer than it did before.

It took me three months, but I believe that the trees are ready to go.  Now I just have to wait a few years until they begin to give me fruit!