Memorial Tree – Before

Updates get complicated as they link back to previous updates to previous updates to previous updates and so on. Linking and reblogging from another blog adds more complication. The last update for the Memorial Tree was reblogged from Felton League on August 10. It and previous updates should link back to preceding updates chronologically. At least it sounds simple.

Another brief update that will reblog here from Felton League at noon will describe more of the social significance of the Memorial Tree rather than horticultural concerns. It really is special.

This little Memorial Tree has certainly been through some difficult times. Despite reassurances that it would not happen again, and that the tree would be outfitted with an ‘approved’ trunk guard, the trunk base has been gouged by weed whackers on more occasions than I can remember. That is an unfortunate consequence of efficient but unaware community service workers.

Such major damage severely inhibited growth. As it begins its fifth year, the Memorial Tree is barely six feet tall. By now, it should be developing branch structure above minimal clearance. Fortunately, it was quite healthy last year. If it continues to grow similarly this year, it will grow above six feet, where it can later develop scaffold limbs. I intend to apply fertilizer regularly.

Stubble had been left on the trunk to enhance caliper growth. That which was developing into significant branches was removed to concentrate resources into vertical trunk growth. Stubble that remains is minimal, but should be substantial enough by winter to get mostly pruned away again. It will more likely be unnecessary, and pruned away completely from the main trunk.

Binding is unfortunately still necessary. The species innately develops irregular form. Binding straightens the otherwise curved trunk. Once the trunk lignifies in the desired position, binding and the associated stake will not be necessary. The larger lodgepole stake holds the binding stake vertical, but is more important for protection from those who bump into the still small tree.

Weeds were removed from around the base of the Memorial Tree, so that there would be no need for a dreaded weed whacker to get close to it. Former damage is compartmentalizing well.

Memorial Tree – After

5 thoughts on “Memorial Tree Update – March 22, 2020

  1. Tony, you did a fine job of totally confusing me with the first paragraph.
    But good for you for keeping the memorial tree going.
    Weed whackers are such awful things.
    I think that all lawn and garden maintenance should be done with non powered machinery.
    I know, a huge adjustment. In many ways.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I thought that the first paragraph could be a problem. I probably should have omitted it. Those who followed the links probably could have followed them more easily than what I wrote here.
      I loathe weed whackers and most power tools used in landscaping. However, I am pleased that weed whackers help to manage vegetation in the areas that are not landscaped around Felton Covered Bridge Park, as well as here. The difficulty for the Memorial Tree is that most of the vegetation management is done by those doing community service, who are not proficient with horticulture. They do not understand how severely damaging such machinery is to some plants. They do not even understand that some of these plants are important. We planted angels trumpets too, but they just get cut down as fast as they regenerate. Eventually, they should get up and above the damage.


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