Thursday, March 15, 2018

Twiggery Tuteur

Internet search hit success depends upon finding the exact word or phrase to describe the indescribable.  In the quest for "rustic wood plant support thingies that kind of look like a teepee," Google images led to trellises with the French term tuteur meaning "guardian."  

How perfect!  The upright guardian of plants, formed by the cast off branches of trees. Poetic, organic and cheap.

For the price of a roll of twine, floppy plants and flowering vines can be protected in style:

  1. Gather interesting, sturdy detached branches. They don't need to be perfectly straight and uniform. 
  2. Precut a length of twine and grab some twist ties.
  3. Choose five compatible candidates and form a teepee, joining the branches about one-quarter of the way from the top.
  4. Trim the branches so they are even top and bottom.
  5. Join them at the top intersection with the twist tie then overwrap the intersection with twine. Trim.
  6. Install tuteur into the ground or pot over the baby plant.  Evenly space the bottom of each support.  Plant firmly in the soil. Adjust until even.
As an alternative to twine, use dried vines. 

Went a bit crazy that first year with the tuteur trellises, but they're nearly free, easy and add a rustic flair. 

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Sunday, January 28, 2018

Fall Leaves Still on Trees?

The maple's at it again.  Rather than toss her fiery crimson leaves to the ground after the final frost, the Japanese maple has clung stubbornly to withered brown leaves  through this brutal, snowy winter.

The maple in the front fared about  the same, as did the neighbor's pair of flowering pears. 

I found that reassuring. It's unlikely varied and mature trees would suffer simultaneous disease.

Spring's yet to sprung, but it appears that the shaggy trees are the result of an early cold winter.

In southeast Michigan, the "first widespread frost event" of 2017 was reported on October 26th.  The Old Farmer's Almanac calculated the probable date as October 30th, using 1981 to 2010  average "Climate Normals."

Usually the decrease in daylight along with a gradual freeze
allows a tree to begin the gradual process of discoloration coupled with the tightening of the ring at the base.. of each leaf.  The tree, in her own deliberate way, schluffs off her leaves each fall.

In the fall of 2017  the frost was early and hard,
and many trees simply retired ahead of schedule --becoming dormant before the job was completely done.  What's left are muddy looking leaves.

Not to worry.  In the spring, new leaf buds will finish the job, and toss last year's to the ground.

And you thought you were done with fall clean-up?

Grab the rake!

still hanging on: