Trees on sunny fields and shady hills

IMG_1643The mowing season is nearly over and as the last weed blossoms fade the dark green of healthy conifers shines through.  Although the volume of rainfall in late summer was less than ideal, seedlings from one and two years ago show substantial growth.   A warm September may have stretched another inch or two of growth in some rows.  The marking flags so critical to locating seedlings in their first year have torn and faded.  Their rusted remnants will be pulled in the Spring.

Two rows of sycamore, a future shady lane,  are rising between hybrid poplars that grow even more rapidly.  Walking/biking trails were not in the original Bluecircle plan but as more and more of the acreage is filled with trees they become a possibility.

Future sycamore lane

Future sycamore lane

Some of the tulip poplar, maple and oak seedlings planted this year have been growing in tree shelters that stand like tall white straws on the downslope to N. Watervliet Rd. This was a pilot project since the shelters cost substantially more than seedlings, but so far survival and growth in the ventilated plastic tubes is encouraging. The shelters should discourage browsing deer as well. IMG_1650


Celebrating green in midSummer

IMG_0984This Summer the Bluecircle is washed with green.  There is impressive new growth on almost all of the pines that survived the drought of ’12, and on a few hundred Scotch pine replacements.  It is almost lost in the rapidly rising tide of ragweed, wild grape and even poison ivy – wherever it has escaped the mower.  The Japanese beetles, brown with a little green, have emerged to challenge the upwards growth of the cultivated grapes.  Ironically, these guests with no natural predators seem prefer wine grapes and roses over the wild varieties.  Overnight new leaves and blossoms were lost and it was time to break out the pesticides.

The grasses have already produced seed and now mostly subside, growing dryer by the day.  Random sunflowers seeded here and by the birds and rodents are weedlike but will evade culling if they lie within the rows of pines or infant oaks.   So far, regular rains have improved the appearance of essentially everything on the Bluecircle.