The Solstice approaches and long shadows are everywhere.
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.
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.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.