Moving and Planting Trees

Big day today. We rearranged trees in the orchard, which is like the beginning of a bad farming joke but this was no joke.

I went to a conference for the extended Presidents' Day weekend, leaving behind a box with my new Asian pears waiting to be planted. I wanted to get to it earlier but things just did not come together to make that happen. Which is to say that we spent most of the Sunday after we chipped up the brush pile lying around feeling old and sore.

While I was away, Noel removed the stump of the dead Buddleia, and today it was past time to plant the new trees. As a reminder of why we are doing this, the old Asian pears are in the way of the renovation work and will have to be removed -- they're just too big to transplant. Asian pears come into fruit quickly so replacement made more sense than repatriation, anyway.

New asian pears

We made quick work of planting them, digging the hole and supplementing the soil with compost from the chicken yard (which also needs my attention). The new trees, from the left, clockwise, are: Tsu Li, Shinsui, Kikisui, Atago.

Shinsui is one of the varieties we have now. The other three are new to us.

Then we took on the apricot. It is also in the way of the renovation; not actually in the footprint of the work but close enough that it would be a bad place to have a tree. So we decided to try moving it since it took forever to produce fruit and it is still pretty small.

Digging out the apricot

It took us a couple of hours to dig it out. I gave it a serious root pruning in the process. All that grassy stuff, by the way, is this wild onion I planted that has gone mad in the most delightful way, so both of us now reek of raw onion.

Moving the apricot

We humped the tree into the wheelbarrow and carted it across the yard, where Noel had dug out the old stump of the sour cherry that died. The hole only needed a little enlarging to fit the apricot, and that worked reasonably well.

Apricot in its new home

There it is. It has buds but neither flowers nor leaves, so it remains to be seen whether it will be at all happy with what just happened to it, but this is the best chance it has of surviving the work.

Raintree Nursery, where I got the new Asian pears, always gives you freebies with bare-root trees, and I have some packages with raspberries and strawberries to plant tomorrow, but this was pretty good for today. I also took the last photos that the city requires for the planning process, and our drawings will go in for that next week. About two weeks later than I wanted them to, but we're still fine for timing.

posted by ayse on 02/21/15