Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Two Men And A Truck

Whew, well we finally finally got moved in.  Completely.  Finally.  We had been moving carloads and pickup truck loads for quite a while.  Finally it got down to the Big & Heavies, the things that we just couldn't handle ourselves.  For this we turned to Two Men And A Truck again.

They've always been wonderful and this time was even better than the previous moves.  They really do care, they know what they're doing, they're cheerful, they're helpful, they're so careful with everything, including with us!  A great company.  So finally the piano is here, the big mirror is here, etc.  It's great to have everything now in one place.

Now we can relax and settle into our Yadkin Yard!  

Today was mowing day and also the day to transplant marigolds into lots of spots in the Yadkin Yard.   We put down mulch last week in the side yard -- looks really nice.  We haven't gotten full-force into working in the yard yet.  Mostly because it still gets pretty cold here.  Early this morning it was 29 degrees.  The previous owner had planted so many beautiful plants and trees.  We're still enjoying watching what appears as Spring unfolds.  There are three spectacular clematis vines in full bloom now.  Gorgeous azaleas, heuchera, hostas, roses...  we got our red rose into the ground and it certainly has appreciated getting planted finally.  I know this because it has put out lots of new blooms.  That makes me happy because it had to wait about 3 years to get its roots out of the pot and into the yard.  It's one of those Knock-Out roses that are so hardy or it probably would not have hung in there with us in the pot for so long.  I'd like to find a Lady Banks rose, either yellow or white, to put along the fence.  They only bloom once, in the early Spring, after which it is very difficult to find them in the nurseries.  I've asked several places so far and I'll just have to keep at it.  My daughter has a huge yellow one.  Here's this year's picture!

It's equally as huge on the other side of the fence.  Well that's all for now.  More Yadkin Yard Yacking to come though!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Feral Cats And Butt Bulge

It has been a while since I/we have posted. We have been busy with the move  and getting established at the new homestead.
 The feral cat made the mistake of wanting a petting more than it feared being eaten and was nabbed outright without the aid of a tranquilizer and has made the move. Both cats are cautious and are getting to know their new surroundings...

One of my few concerns was about half a dozen giant oak trees that could hit the house in the right storm. That is about 6 too many for me. Several of those were swollen at the base like this one:

 Not only is this one swollen, but you can see that it's integrity has been compromised from all the missing supporting material we call wood. (An inside view of this tree later) Which makes them much more likely to fall, even in a lesser storm. A stroll into the forest revealed several trees that had fallen recently. Someone had cut most of it up for firewood, but it was an indicator of what trees closer to the house could do.
 Turns out many of our trees have/had swollen trunks, or Butt Bulge: (It is a "G" rated problem)

 -- Butt Bulge is nearly always accompanied by a hollow butt. Rot commonly extends above the hollow, and the upper tapered-off limit of the bulge generally indicates the end of serious rot. It is found most often on lowland sites with high soil moisture content and is most frequent in oak.

In ash, elm, maple, sweetgum, and similar hardwoods, massive butt rot may not produce a clearly outlined butt bulge, Also, in these species the bark over even a slight bulge often becomes smoother and darker, with many more cross breaks than usual. Such bark scales slough off much faster than from a normal sound stem. Sweetgum is an outstanding example of this.

 This seems to lead to Butt Rot(Still "G" rated ) and ants seem to find it a good spot for a colony.

 -- Butt Rot, the decay at the base of living trees, is the result of the invasion by one of a number of decay fungi which enter the trees through wounds. Fire wounds are the most typical type. Data indicate that butt rot affects 29 percent of the white oaks and 39 percent of the red oaks on loess and alluvial sites in the Midsouth.  (Yes I had to look up loess and alluvial. We are neither one, just for percentage purposes)

It is the most serious cause of cull. (They had to cull the rotten parts, but there was still pleeeeenty of wood in then thar trees)

-- Conks, old wounds, hollows, abnormal swellings or butt bulge indicate butt rot. Decayed wood may be soft or brittle, and brown to white. The decay core may be small or include the entire heartwood. The core extends vertically from less than an inch to several feet. Affected trees are weak and subject to breakage.

 The trees that really concerned me were 4 massively large gigantic humongous oaks, and all their top weight was leaning towards the house, one as close as 20 feet. (If you have cut trees, you understand that statement) The base of two already had rotted enough that ants had made them a home in the trunk. Here are some shots of the insides of the tree in the first photo and the lack of support it had for all the tons of wood that it held. When they cut it, the base of the tree crumbled, which is what it could have done with the right wind blowing in the right direction.
This tree was big, the stump you see comes up to my chest just under my armpits, I am 5' 7" ...
So we will rest better knowing that a tree will not fall on us now....

Until the next update.....