Field of Science

Garden toll and cleanup is exercise

Monday was such nasty weather.  The ice storm cleanup took the Phactors about 2.5 hrs of hauling twigs and limbs to the street for pick up.  How many calories do you burn dragging big limbs 300 feet to the street?  This is definitely not just exercise, but work because it accomplishes something. A big piece of a white fir heavily laden with ice required some chain saw therapy to make moveable pieces and that was just the top 30 feet or so that fell into our garden; the rest remains in the neighbors' driveway, but limbs hung on power and cable wires prevented us from doing any more cleanup.  The large limb from a tulip tree crown shown in the earlier blog still awaits professional attention. It squashed our hedgerow garden along the neighbors' driveway like bug and then sprawled another 25 feet or so across lawn.  The toll is adding up, but what are you going to do? Two beautiful 9-foot-tall western arborvitae trees were snapped off, half the limbs were stripped from a 15 foot tall limber pine, an oakleaf hydrangea, three dwarf pink hydrangeas, and a little lime hydrangea were flattened into the ground. However a small 2-year old seedling of Sinocalycanthus was miraculously missed, but doubt it will survive the cleanup because it's not easy to notice.  This is not an easy plant to replace, so TPP hopes for the best. Elsewhere the fir attempted to squash some newly planted shrubs, an Itea and several winter berry hollies. Damaged they are, but they will probably fully recover; their anti-bunny cages not so much. Mature spirea bushes provided some cushioning, and they bend but don't break. On the whole it could have been much worse; fortunately there was little damage elsewhere. If the tulip tree had fallen just 4 feet further north it would have missed our garden but then the neighbors' garage would have been squashed like a bug instead of the arborvitae. Would that have been worth it?  Hmmm?

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