We just got 2 feet of snow in 24 hours. It started as wet rain and bonded the wet flakes to the trees as it changed to snow. They are covered in wet heavy snow and bending with the weight. Some of the newly planted trees are bent over sideways. Be sure to go out and shake some off if you got as much as I did in Westfield. Trees that are built well with good branch angles can handle this weight (for a little while). Unpruned, overgrown trees with weak or poor branch angles will likely break.
Oh apple tree we'll Wassail thee in hopes that thou will bear
The lord does know where we shall be to be merry another year
To blow well and to bear well, and so merry let us be:
Let every man drink up his cup, here's health to the old apple tree.
Three bushel bags full,
Barn floors full,
And even a little heap under the stairs.
Hip, Hip, Hooray! Hip, Hip, Hooray! Hip, Hip, HOORAY!
Now the Reliance Peach in my unheated greenhouse is in full bloom. Bright pink petals open wide and being visited by native bees and flies. I have done some paintbrush cross pollination just to be sure I get a lot of fruit to set. No frosty or freezing weather expected in the near future. Next will be a spray of kaolin clay for the bugs and sulfur for the rots and cankers that inevitably await if I do not spray. This will be applied at petal fall and repeated two weeks later. All this because I have learned from last season watching 50 little peachlets whittled off by plum curculio damage until I had only 3 peaches ripen successfully. Hoping for better results this year. Would like to can some homegrown peaches this summer and maybe bake a cobbler or two. You have to have high hopes to grow peaches in northern Vermont, I sure do.
Wow! It's May 13th and the trees are really starting to wake up. Just noticed that my Siberian Pears are at the bud stage known as pink tip (meaning that they are very close to blooming). The pie cherries and plums are getting pretty close as well. Apples are still at green tip to tight cluster (meaning that we still have a week or two to go before they bloom). Things seemed so slow for so long this spring that I never thought it would come. The trees march forward in their progress into the season. Better get the sprayer ready! Things start to happen really fast this time of year.
Trees can teach us so many things about ourselves and the world around us. I often look to trees for wisdom and insight. I have learned many a lesson from trees. The recent ice storm that covered much of the landscape with ice illustrated one such lesson: Be flexible. What does not bend will break. Trees know this inherently. It is built into their design. When the wind blows, a tree sways. This bending and flexing allows a tree to receive and then let go of the force of the wind’s energy. The outermost cell walls of the tree are stretched and broken with each movement. When the wind subsides, the branches return to their original stance and rebuild to be stronger than they were before. Cells are repaired and the tree grows sturdier and more resilient. The leaves and branches, and even the trunks reach and strive to find light. Roots divide and branch intricately as they seek water and nutrients and grow deeper to better anchor the growing top. They cannot control their environment, only adapt to it. Constantly striving for balance in a fluctuating world, trees work with the natural forces that are in play all around them. We have much to learn from the silent and steady world of trees. May we feel the energy of the wind flow through our branches. May we bend and sway. May we hold on to our roots and let our minds go free.