Quercus Rubra

For Earth Day this year we went to Lowe’s to buy a tree. Christine spied a tall red oak that had a nice trunk caliper. I referenced our landscape master plan and sure enough, it called for two red oaks just east of what was supposed to be the wine garden; which is now our apple orchard.

As we paid for the tree I wasn’t sure if it’d even fit in the RAV4. I told the cashier I may be bringing the tree back. With as much dexterity as two adults and two kids could muster, we delicately put the tree into the Toyota, pointy bits first. I stacked up several bags of stone I had bought for the new bee hive stand, off to one side of the trunk. Propping the root ball end up on the stone pile, I beckoned the wife to come on back – we needed her to sit in the back and hold the tree in place all the way home.

But the tree did fit.

Once home I eyeballed where I thought the plan called for our new leafy friend to go. And I actually was pretty darn close. I dug a hole, added some top soil from the nearby stock pile and our new tree was in place. Judging by the location, someday this oak will tower over the orchard, and actually shade it too much in the morning, but by time it reaches 80′ tall and 50′ wide I’ll be nothing but dust underneath it.

Red Oaks are magnificent trees. I had previously planted several red oak saplings, but alas I don’t think any survive any more. They can live to be 500 years old. Eventually the tree will bear acorns, that the animals will like.

Christine’s oak will look over us for years to come and nurture our land, just as she nurtures our family.

Beyond planting the oak, I also installed stones around the base of the last bee hive stand. Our bees will be ready for pick up in the next couple days, so it’s imperative that we are ready for them.

I also tried to kill some ants at the base of a red bud tree with water and vinegar, as well as cornmeal. Not much luck so far.

The sandbox is under way, but wait for the next post for my over view of that project.

Here are some pics for your enjoyment.

Four bags of stone, placed over the tar paper and under the pavers to provide some stability and drainage for the bee hive stand. Also keep the tar paper from flying away.

Four bags of stone, placed over the tar paper and under the pavers to provide some stability and drainage for the bee hive stand. Also keep the tar paper from flying away.

Every night the deer wander through the yard, only about 15' from the dining room windows. It's like living at a zoo. They love the clover in our yard.

Every night the deer wander through the yard, only about 15′ from the dining room windows. It’s like living at a zoo. They love the clover in our yard.

I tried killing an ant hill at the base of our red bud tree with a mixture of vinegar and water from a spray bottle. And I poured corn meal around the base as well.

I tried killing an ant hill at the base of our red bud tree with a mixture of vinegar and water from a spray bottle. And I poured corn meal around the base as well.

Setting the 4x4 posts for the sandbox with cement.

Setting the 4×4 posts for the sandbox with cement.

My jeep made it out of the garage after six long months in the hibernation.

My jeep made it out of the garage after six long months in the hibernation.

The house as viewed from our country lane.

The house as viewed from our country lane.

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