We began the cleanup of the big flowering crab branch that broke today, along with a lot of other Irene cleanup. We cut the branch off above the crack, and started cutting it up. We’ll use the wood in our woodstove or smoker. We will eventually prune the broken branch back toward the trunk to facilitate wound healing. We also will prune some other large branches back to reduce the likelihood of future damage and to balance out the tree’s form a bit.
Our neighbor to the west lost a large old maple tree in the storm. You can make out the large trunk on the bottom left of the photo. As we were working on the crab we realized that the loss of that tree will allow a lot more light to reach the shade garden in the afternoons.
Another tree that received some damage and will need to come down is the basswood tree seen in the below photo to the right of the bottle tree. The basswood has been unhappy for a while, but now has a large vertical crack in the trunk and lost a few limbs. It is unfortunate because it is uncommon, but the risk of damage if it blows down is too great.
The loss of that tree will also let more light reach this cool shady garden. Although it is primarily planted with ferns, hosta and other shade lovers, I hope the sun won’t been too much for the plants. We’ll see in a year or two what the impact will be.
No word yet on when he can look at the maple from our arborist. I’m sure he’s busier than a one-armed paperhanger these days, but I am anxious to hear what he has to say about our lovely maple tree.
Dan and I also went through the veggie garden and cleaned up the toppled sunflowers. The ones we could save, we tied to the garden fence, the rest we gave to the hens, who love the seed heads, immature or not.
One of the cages I made for the pole beans blew over in the storm, pulling the majority of the beans out. I picked the beans from the few living plants today, and will pull the remaining plants tomorrow. I also picked the remaining Royal Burgundy bush beans, and pulled the plants which had been hammered by the wind and rain. There were a few blossoms on the plants, but the plants were so flattened I didn’t think they would produce much. The final hurricane-related garden task was to reinforce the stakes holding the peppers upright. You can barely see it in the photo, but there is twine tied to the hoophouse roof holding some of the large plants upright. I hope the plants produce some additional fruits before the frost, or at least ripen up the fruits currently on the plants.
Dan’s mom came for a visit today and we put her to work raking the small twigs and branches littering the lawn so that we can mow. All that rain was good for something.