A couple of years ago while trimming the branches on some young trees that I was growing in Georgia, I came upon a small Dawn Redwood that I had raised from a seedling. It died back in a hard freeze the year before and although I had given up on it, for some reason it had come back. Growing up from the base of the stump were two healthy bright green limbs, both reaching for the sun. I cut the old dead main trunk from the center and then stood back to look at the small three-foot tall tree. The two remaining branches seemed identical in every way, healthy, beautiful mirror images. But if the tree was to grow strong and fast, capable of surviving to a ripe old age without splitting in half, one of the branches had to be removed. I bent down on one knee and took one of the branches in each hand. Then, after looking up at the angle of the sun and the position of the other trees, I took the shears from my back pocket… and cut. Continue reading
When you’re new to an area it takes a while to become familiar with the vegetation and creatures that inhabit your yard. Your neighbors will always be willing to help, not only because they’re nice people, but also because it’s so much fun for them to watch you try to implement bogus advice.
Lori and I were just starting to fix up our little place in Georgia, planting trees, mowing and such, when our dog Molly and I had our first experience with a paper wasp nest. As she watched us from the porch, it took a while for Lori to figure out what was going on. All she could see was Molly and me running for our lives, spinning around, snapping and swatting at the air like cartoon characters. Lori’s laughter turned into sympathy when she saw Molly’s golf ball sized swollen, upper lip. “Awww… Look at her.” She turned to me, ignoring my one gigantic red ear. “You’ve got to get rid of that nest!” (YES, I thought… a mission!). Continue reading