Category: Gardening/Local Plant Life

Cherry Blossom Time Comes Earlier

By , May 30, 2017

We got a surprise about a week ago: our cherry tree began to blossom!

Our long suffering cherry tree (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

We have yet to find references from previous years, but we believe this bloom is considerably earlier than we’ve seen before. The difference: Michelle trimmed the windbreak trees last winter to provide the tree more sunshine.

The poor tree has lived a tough life. Moose commonly browse it in the winter, porcupines used to, before we fenced it to prevent them from doing so. Add to these too little sun, it blooms late and bears poorly.

In the past, we’ve watched enviously as cherry trees around Haines (and there are many) bloom in May. Our tree follows apologetically a few weeks later.

This year, we were still behind the trees in town, but only by a few days. Those few days turned out to be critical. We had a gale blow through recently, which knocked the petals off fruit tree blossoms in the area. Our tree’s blossoms were still just tight enough to hang on to all their petals. That rain (a local record for the day, incidentally) and the ensuing sunshine brought out our bloom beautifully.

Cherry blossom detail (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

Now, pollinators of all shapes and sizes buzz around the tree, visiting the blossoms. We standby, enjoying the view, and beginning to hope for a better cherry harvest this year.

Slug!

By , May 5, 2017

On Tuesday, I shut down my birch tap for the season. As I removed the tap jug from the spile, I got a nasty surprise: on the far side of the jug, I found a small, black slug stretched out to about 2 inches long.

slug killed by salt

The salt shaker, and the damage done: all that’s left of the slug (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

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