I woke up early yesterday and took this photo of the old elms in our front yard.
In the afternoon Dave and I pruned our pear tree. This is in the front yard. You can see the elm branches above the pear tree. As usual I forgot to take a before photo. We were very aggressive – shortening the tree, cutting off the water shoots and generally thinning it.
While Dave finished taking down the mistake of a fence we put up a couple years ago (below), I started pruning this apple tree in the orchard. It has been very neglected.
Yes, forgot the before photo. The fence just didn’t look good and it wasn’t functional (keeping the dogs in the yard) because we haven’t put up a fence in the back. Plans for any fencing are on hold. Basically, the dogs go where they want. Duke stays on our property – frequently roaming into the brush beyond the pasture and coming home full of burrs. Len visits the neighbors – giving them a look like they are on his property. Given his weight gain I expect he also visits the property behind us where they host dinners and bluegrass dances every Saturday night.
two white pines in the back yard
This is the apple tree when I finished with it. Lots more to do. You can see what I cut off in the foreground.
Sadly, we no longer have chickens. Well, we have them but they are in the freezer and the stock pot. We started having a predator problem in the fall – well, maybe in the summer, we just didn’t notice until the fall. This week we were down to just three hens. We locked them in the coop and waited for a relatively warm morning. That was today. Maybe we will try having chickens again when Dave retires in a few years.
Getting some much needed rain today. Hoping for a good snow fall in February.
We had 17 white pines growing along our road and the electric company comes around every few years and tops them. It looks awful so we finally took them down over three weekends.
September 30 – a view of our two paw paw trees on the right and a crabapple tree on the left. Pines are behind these trees.
October 14 – two weeks later. The photo is taken later in the day and season but I think you can see how it has opened up the space.
another before with the pines behind these trees
and after although not quite the same view. The trees on the left are some of our very tall pear trees.
lots of branches to shred
Our pear trees are so tall we can’t pick the fruit. Dave gathered these from the ground. I cut out the good parts to eat and they were pretty tasty.
Dave got to use his new tractor.
stumps left behind
We planted 11 red chokeberry bushes along the fence.
This one is particularly loaded with berries. These shrubs have pretty white flowers in the spring, berries form in the summer and the leaves turn bright red in the fall. Berries are edible for humans and birds though not very tasty. Even the birds leave them until late winter when other food sources are scarce. I also read that the chokeberries are a good urban shrub and don’t mind road salt. We aren’t in an urban area but we do have a school up the road so we get salted at any sign of inclement winter weather.
So nice to have this done.
and the last of a half bushel of apples I bought from a guy selling out of his truck down in Fairfield.
I had trouble photographing these hawthorn berries. My friend and herbalist came over last weekend to harvest some of them. They make good medicine for the heart. We made sure to leave plenty for the birds.
The paw paw tree is showing beautifully this year.
Wood we stacked late last winter.
A small stand of trees between the stacked wood and the paw paw. Not crazy about the pines – we have so much. In the undergrowth is an oak and what we think are some cherry trees. We pruned out the honeysuckle bushes.
See the little brussel sprouts on the stalk at the base of the leaves. We had such a hard time with bugs this year. So hoping these sprouts remain unharmed.
A little color from our serviceberry tree.
It was in the 60’s today so we took advantage of the warm temps and spent the afternoon pruning the gooseberry bushes, butterfly bush and elderberries. We also cleared some of the applewood we cut a couple weeks ago and stacked it on the wood pile.
Gooseberries and butterfly bush before pruning
Makes quite a difference. The gooseberries were extrememely overgrown. We did a harsh pruning. Hopefully, we will still get some fruit from them this year.
Last Saturday Sue, Norm and Marc helped us prune some of our fruit trees. The trees are quite old and haven’t been pruned in years. Sue recommended that we cut at least some of them down and plant dwarf varieties. We’d have fruit in three years rather than trying to bring these old trees back to bearing fruit.
On Monday Damian, Dave and I did some cutting up and stacking of apple wood.