Deer Treat

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Earlier this week I trimmed our cherry and plum tree – one long and horizontal branch from the cherry and a lot of little branches from the red-leafed plum. Both were low and making it more difficult for my husband to mow underneath the trees. I took the cut branches to the back of our yard (the edge of the forest).

The morning after my pruning – I noticed a doe and her fawn feasting on the still green leaves of the cherry branch where I had left it near the forest. It must have seemed like quiet a treat to get tasty leaves that were previously too high for them to reach. I took some pictures through the window of my summer office. They enjoyed the leaves long enough for my husband to see them too. Before they left, the doe sampled the plum leaves too; those leaves must have not tasted as good as the cherry leaves since the duo continued their amble back into the forest.

Blooming Trees in Our Yard

About a week after our trek to the National Arboretum – I walked around our yard to take pictures of our trees in bloom. The maple is not quite as bright red as it was earlier…about done with its blooming for the year. The forsythia our neighbor planted at the edge of the woods is blooming behind the maple. The misty yellow of the spice bush is still weeks away.

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The cherry tree in our front yard is blooming profusely. There were several kinds of bees (I presume bees….some of them were too small for me to see for sure).  In previous years our cherry tree lagged the peak bloom at the tidal basin and the arboretum in Washington DC by at least a week…and that seems about right this year as well.

We also have a plum tree and, even though the flowers are smaller, they keep their pink color all the way through the cycle rather than becoming white like the cherries.

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The spring blooming trees are a clear indicator of the season change…warmer days to come. The colors are a welcome break from the browns of winter. Next comes the delicate spring greens as leaves begin to unfurl.

Tree Bud Project – Week 2

It’s Friday – so I am doing an update on the tree branches I brought inside a week ago. See the previous post here. All of them seem to be surviving in the vase of water. I’ve freshened the water every few days. All the pictures are with the 15x macro clip-on lens and my smartphone.

The cherry buds have opened into small white flowers! At first the buds just looked bigger.

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Two days later, the white tips showed beyond the green of the outer covering.

And the next morning the flowers were open! I took a picture of the back and front of the flowers.

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The plum is slower. Some of the buds have not changed at all and I am wondering if they were damaged by cold temperatures. Some look like they are larger. I hope they eventually will open.

The red maple has bloomed and is now drooping. They are wind fertilized…so won’t make seeds in the ‘windless’ house. At first, they looked very red – like little streamers from the bud.

Then the bigger structure grew.

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And now they seem to be drying out.

The tulip poplar has been changing a lot too. At first more buds opened.

Two days later all the buds were larger, and a tiny leaf had emerged from one of them.

Over the next few days other tiny leaves emerged and began to get larger. I noticed the tiny leaves while they were still folded inside the bud too. The bark of the twig seems to be a deeper color too.

I haven’t noticed any changes in the black walnut branch. If the buds do open it should be spectacular with so many buds on the tip of the branch.

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The sycamore buds haven’t changed much either although they seem to be a little larger and their color has shifted to green with some red overtones.

Stay tuned to next Friday for the next tree bud report!

Cherry and Plum Blossoms

We have a cherry and plum tree in our front yard…and they are both blooming at the same time this year. In past year the plum has been almost finished before the cherry tree peaks. The up and down temperatures this year has acted to synchronize their blooming.

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The cherry tree still has some buds. It always surprises me that the buds look so pink but the petal are almost white.

The cherry tree is an older tree and has more lichen growing on it.

The plum has pink buds and the color is retained in the open flowers.

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The leaves of the tree are red too so there is no greenery around the plum blossoms.

These trees are the best part of our spring front yard!

Tree status – Mid- March

I took some close-up pictures of three trees in our yard this week. The black walnut has obvious buds but they aren’t opening yet. The scars from last year’s growth are shallow craters below the buds for spring 2018 growth.

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The plum tree has bright pink buds. The blooms will be pink and probably coming soon. This is the first tree that blooms in our yard.

The cherry is the second tree to bloom. The buds have begun to spit open. Our tree lags the ones in downtown Washington DC which are predicted to reach peak bloom this year around the end of March. Our weather has kept having cold nights with some warm days so the bloom is proceeding slowly after appearing to be starting early.

Icy Day

Earlier this week we had about 24 hours of icy coated trees (and streets were impacted enough that schools closed for the whole day). I was glad I had no reason I had to be out and about; I could enjoy the ice through the windows of the house – or open doors to get a clearer picture. I noticed how different the types of trees looked with the ice. The pines droop over very quickly from the added weight of ice coating their needles. The tulip poplars develop little icicles on their more horizontal branches, but the seed pods didn’t seem to accumulate any ice.

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When I first looked at the maple, I thought it hadn’t accumulated ice as much as the other trees. When I zoomed in with my camera I saw that it did have ice accumulation and the buds were already dark red. I don’t think the buds will be damaged by the ice since they are still closed.

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The sycamore had a thin coating of ice and longer icicles. I was surprised that the lone seed ball from last summer does not appear to have ice on it!

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I worried the most about the plum tree in our front yard. It has a lot of small branches that are almost horizontal and tends to be coated with ice rather than icicles forming. It glistened in the morning sun (that didn’t cause very much melting because it was so cold).  Fortunately, there was very little breeze so I don’t see any breakage.

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