What I Shed Today

lightening up a little at a time

redcedars relocated

on May 14, 2014

From the southeast corner of our lot, summer and winter, a great mother of an eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana) stands green and tall, watching over all that comes and goes. She’s a gracious host who shares her blue-grey fruits with birds, who repay by sowing her children wherever they … er … go. Sometimes, that’s not very far away. Thus we enjoy a constant supply of juvenile junipers, which come up in the woods (where they’re welcome), beside the house (where they’re not), and in what passes for our lawn (where the mower blades render them bonsai).

We have a lot of baby white oaks, too—hundreds—which, with regret, I mostly treat as weeds. The redcedars, however, I transplant to the woods out back. There they must compete for soil moisture and make do with little light, but they’re plucky little things, and most survive.

Today I moved half a dozen that had sprouted up under the skirts of the crepe myrtle and lilac chaste tree. The three largest get to participate in my hugelkultur experiment.

Hugelkultur is, usually, a variation on raised-bed gardening, in which decaying wood is buried under soil improved with manure and compost. It serves as a source of some nutrients, but mostly acts as a sponge, soaking up water when it’s abundant and releasing it slowly at need. I’m building my hugelkultur mound under the oak-hickory canopy out back, so it won’t get enough light to raise vegetables. But it gives me a place to manage the abundance of dead wood on our property, and to landfill another plentiful by-product of our household. I alternate layers of limbs and twigs, used clay kitty litter, and fallen leaves. I expect the redceders to send roots through it and hold it all together. In any case, in my intentions, they’re now in their place. I hope they like it!

mound, sweet mound

mound, sweet mound

shedding style: relocate
destination: hugelkultur mound

Comments welcome … is some godparenting asking for your attention and time?

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