Saturday, May 26, 2012

Tree Planting

We started tree planting while I was at Paia in April.  After five years of cutting down things that didn't really belong where they were, it was good to start putting other things back in the right places.  Jüri found some black alder and birch from southern Estonia, as well as some pine and a few rowan, elm and maple.  The first tree we actually planted was a birch we put in front of the main house as part of a small stand.
Then we moved on and planted a little over twenty black alders and eleven red willows along our side of the river bank.
Our neighbor Hendrik very kindly let us plant this little triangle of his land across the stream with another 29 black alders.  He did warn us that cars sometimes miss the curve before the bridge and end up here.  Assuming they survive the traffic, these will start to screen the Ojakalda house from the highway in a few years.
The photos all look like we're planting sticks instead of trees, but they're really there next to the stakes.  This is a black alder we planted in April, leafed out a couple weeks later.  We had a worrisome moment when we noticed that the black alders we were planting looked exactly like the younger version of the white alders we spent last Summer cutting down.  It was good to see these really did have the heart-shaped black alder leaf.  
We put a few black alder up in the meadow on the Paia side as well.  Some of the older elm and maple that Jüri had brought were planted here as well.

On the Ojakalda side of the meadow we planted the rest of the elm and maple, and some rowan, as well as one white elm (künnapuu in Estonian, Russian elm in North America).  We put ten small pines on the hill in the foreground.  Hopefully the needles will help suppress the goutweed that grows here.
Along the highway we planted some lime or linden trees.  I liked this shot of a spider having her lunch in one of them.
We bought some of the larger trees at a local nursery, including five plum and five pear trees.
Eight of the fruit trees went into the Paia orchard, the remaining two into the little orchard by the Ojakalda house.  Once they get going in a year or two, we'll cut the rest of these ash out of the Paia orchard for firewood and it will start to look hopelessly cultivated.
One of the plums was already blooming in mid-May.  I'll be interested to see how the others are doing when we get there in early June.  The tulips and daffodils and some of the other old perennials still come back every year.  We've started making an effort to mark these better in the hopes of creating more attractive beds around them in the coming years.
We also transplanted some lilacs to make a hedge next to the fields.  There were large hedges of overgrown lilacs on both places when we bought them.  They make a good barrier against any pesticides or herbicides the neighbors need to spray, and they're really quite pretty in the Spring.  Unfortunately many of the existing bushes are not in the best locations for our purposes.  I think they were planted around buildings and spaces that no longer exist.  Fortunately they're extremely hardy and grow quickly.
Altogether we (mostlyJüri) planted about 130 new trees plus the lilacs.

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