December 21, 2004
This morning I was going through my big box o’ mail and other miscellaneous paper I need to deal with (which sits next to the stack o’ mostly catalogs–after the holidays I might just be able to eliminate both of those and get back to using just my in-box like a normal person) and found one of the essays written by our tree care service. Yes, I have a tree care service. It was either that or let the landscaping the previous owners of our house had put in deteriorate to eyesore level, because neither I nor Mr. Karen found the time or inclination to do the work ourselves after we became homeowners. So we have a tree service. We gave it up for a season when I wasn’t working and the trees seemed fine with the temporary suspension of care, but I missed the little stories the tree guys wrote, like this one from last August:
Things look really good this year despite very cool summer temperatures and high rainfall. Quite a number of problems have occurred due to the unusual weather and you have managed to avoid them.
We have very good scab and diplodia control. These diseases usually have a banner year when it rains in the spring.
I am not at all sure what scab and diplodia are, but am very happy they’re under control. But doesn’t it always rain in the spring? April showers bring May flowers–even I learned that much.
The sweetgum looks great despite a very long and cold winter. These trees are at the northernmost edge of their habitat range and cold winters can cause dieback and decline.
I actually do know which tree is the sweetgum–it’s the one in the middle of the front yard that’s a pain to mow around, the one that gets its leaves late in the spring and keeps them late in the fall, when they turn gorgeous colors.
The hawthorn looks good. You have some quince apple rust on the fruiting bodies but it’s not a major outbreak. I will make sure we prioritize this tree for next year’s fungicidal sprays.
Now, the hawthorn I’m a little unclear about. It might be the one close the front porch that stabs Mr. Karen when he cuts the branches back so they won’t scrape the house, or it might be the one by the corner of the garage that puts on a big show of flowers in the spring and then drops fruit on the car parked in the driveway. If I knew what fruiting bodies looked like I could inspect them for rust and know for sure, maybe. It’s a good thing Mike (the tree guy who wrote this essay) used a poetic phrase like “fruiting bodies” here because that distracts me from the ugly “prioritize”. Maybe Mike is working his way through business school and they’re teaching him buzzwords.
It will be four or five months until I get my next state of the trees report. Cold as it’s been the last few days, I’m a little worried about the sweetgum. Would wrapping it in a blanket help? Mike did not say.
One year ago, I didn’t buy a used car.
Two years ago, Random Acts of Journaling got me thinking about things that had gone missing. That basket still hasn’t turned up, but there are boxes in the basement that I haven’t opened since I wrote that entry, so all hope is not lost.