Long shadows, short trees

The Solstice approaches and long shadows are everywhere.

IMG_1463 Where weeds grew taller than kindergarten trees their seed pods and frost-ravenged skeletal remains no longer hide the progress of the conifers.   What snow had accumulated was rained away and green grass remains a significant part of the landscape, albeit peppered with faded oak and maple leaves.  The annual inventory of surviving pines and poplars came to just over a thousand.   Overall success this year was very good except in a planned windbreak of red cedars.  This planting at the crest of a hill suffered from being in heavy clay and too far from a water source.  So far only hybrid poplars appear to thrive just about anywhere.

IMG_1459 Pines, either Scotch, red or white now outnumber the short-needled spruces and firs. A few that were planted as “3-yr transplants” instead of seedlings now stand chest high or better. The 5″ pine seedling on the left took root in the shadow of grasses but should rise above them next year.

A dawn redwood after the frost

A dawn redwood after the frost

New this year were a few Dawn redwood transplants. They grew well but it’s too soon to say how they will handle a snowy winter.

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