"On the plains of Oklahoma, with a windshield sunset in your eyes like a watercolor painted sky, you'd think heavens doors have opened."
Fly Over States

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Tree Planting Season

We're in a drought and need rain but it is still a good season to plant/transplant trees.  Yesterday, we had four Caddo Maples delivered.   The guys planted two on either side of the driveway, one in the backyard and one in the pasture by the barn.  It is a father/son business and I was tickled to see the young man, unrequested, take excess dirt from the backyard tree and fill in holes the dogs had dug.   He didn't just toss it in, either.  He carefully patted it down, jumped up and down on top, and placed Bermuda springs on top.  He did the same thing in bare spots under the existing trees in the front yard. 

Before the trees arrived, I was a little worried that the girls would eat them but husband just looked at me and said, "Honey, don't worry.  These are TREES - not seedlings."  Once I saw them, it sunk in.  The new trees have 2.75 inch trunks and are about 12 feet tall.

Caddo Maples are hardy, drought resistant hard maples that are native to Oklahoma and have lovely foliage in the fall. Caddo county, a county west of us, is where they originally morphed. Husband planted a few from seed that did very well at the house he lived in Oklahoma City, years ago, but last year we had too much going to to devote much time to tree planting. Also, it isn't like we are going to live forever so if we want to enjoy them, we figure we'd get a jump start on growth.

Here is a cite with photos of mature trees.

The girls came out to supervise from time to time but mainly took naps and watched out the window, oddly enough, by choice.
Two of the Caddos were planted on either side of the driveway.   This is the one on the north side looking to the SW:
The largest/heaviest was planted in the backyard.  I worry that it will eventually block my view of the barn but we wanted one in the yard and this is the best place: 
This is an alternative photo of the backyard Caddo looking SE towards the barn:
Here is the backyard tree with Pearl pitching a fit because I wanted her to sit beneath it to show the size.  You'd think I was killing her:
Such a pretty girl.  You can see the Caddo we planted in the pasture behind her if you squint - it is at the edge of the barn:
 Such a spoiled girl:
 Such a mad little girl when I insisted she stop and sit while I took a picture:
 Another view of the north driveway tree:
 The girls wandering down the driveway:
 The tree on the south side of the driveway looking to the SE:
 We put a tree in the pasture next to the barn.  As you drive down the driveway, you look right at it:
Tree in the backyard:
Alternate photo of the pasture Caddo out by the barn:
We bought these through a landscaping company that has access to a commercial tree growing company so were able to get healthy, robust, non picked over trees cultivated from seed.    Caddos are moderate growers and depending on who you believe, should end up being about 40 - 60 foot tall.  We won't live to see them reach their full height but with any luck, we should be able to enjoy them as mature trees for a few years.  

We were so pleased with how healthy they are that we are considering ordering a few more.  We already have two Post Oaks, a Bald Cypress, lots of Cedars, Bradford Pears (that surely won't live much longer), a couple of gnarly pines and some really, really, really ugly Elms.   REALLY ugly.

As much as I hate removing trees, a few days ago, we took out a disgusting Silver Maple and a sickly Redbud from the front yard.   One of the Caddos took the place of the Redbud.  

As I am writing this, it occurs to me I haven't seen the girls in awhile.  They're outside.  I should go check on them.

On the south side of the yard, in front of the barn, we have a number of Native Pecan babies that may or may not make it.  We ordered them from the forestry service, last year, and heeled them in until they were about a foot tall.  In the backyard, we also have a couple of baby Willow Oaks that we brought back from Virginia.  I love Willow Oaks but don't have high hopes that these will survive the Oklahoma droughts and hot summers.  Moreover, the one that looked the most promising ended up half eaten by Pearl last summer and we aren't sure it will recover or be worth saving.  When she showed up with a stick in her mouth in that great prairie of a backyard, my heart sunk.  Yup, it was the top half of my best beloved baby Willow Oak.  She looked so proud of herself that I just sighed.  Fortunately, she isn't bad about that sort of thing as a rule.   The landscapers said the baby Willow Oaks still looked pretty healthy (if now ill formed) so I'll be hauling water buckets all over the place for the next few weeks until the spring rains arrive.

I am not one who particularly likes the look of a yard that is filled with a wide variety of specimen trees.  I think it starts looking strange and unnatural so when we get more trees, I wouldn't be adverse to getting more Caddos if we can get more healthy ones.   Any trees we get we want to be native to Oklahoma to increase the likelihood of their survival and, well, just because. 

As dry as things get in Oklahoma, we actually have a drainage problem around the house and need to do some work to divert what rain we get around from the front and north side to the pasture.  So once we get that in place, we'll consider where to put the next tree.   Until that work is done, we don't want to risk planting a new tree right in the way. 

I have my bag packed in case I get a call that grandson is on the way.  Getting pretty excited about that and sure hope he decides to pick a time when NYC isn't covered up with a snowstorm.  They've had a string of tough winters.  As for us, it is sunny and mid sixties, today, and sunny and 70 degrees expected for tomorrow.  I love Oklahoma. 

Aw crap!  The girls just came in with dirty feet.  Ran out to check and they have half dug up the new Caddo in the backyard!!  The burlap around the ball is all exposed.  I stood there horrified and cussing while husband just laughed. 

That man is going to live longer than I do.  While I am dead in the grave from a stroke, he is going to be drinking beer, puffing on cigarettes (I am sure he will take back up the habit before I am in my grave - he's just been waiting for the opportunity) and enjoying our Caddos from the back porch.  Probably with a couple of dogs nearby to keep him company. 
Happy Quilting, Penny, Evelyn and Pearl


ranette said...

LOL....we should all handle things like Mark! The girls are beautiful and so are the trees!

Florida Farm Girl said...

Oh, the joys of four-paws, spouses and home ownership!!!!! Your maples are going to be gorgeous. I'm rather jealous. Our fall color is very minimal.

Sherry said...

LOL Husbands and pets!!!

Neener neener neener. My grandbabies got here before yours! ;-)

Stephanie D. said...

I need to replace some of the Bradfords we've lost the last couple of years and maples have been high on the list. Gotta decide soon! Yours will be lovely!