limb abandonment in evergreens
Wednesday, November 29 2006
For a third day I was up in the hemlocks (as well as a nearby White Pine) trimming the trees in the non-festive sense. In the case of the White Pine I didn't feel like I was committing much of a crime because the only branches I needed to cut away were already dead. Evergreens shed their limbs at different rates depending on the overall shade-tolerance of the species. Hemlocks are very reluctant to let their branches die, even ones that live in perpetual twilight. This is why the shade they cast is so deep (and usually comes with its own microclimates). On the other hand, Pitch Pines (which I know mostly from Virginia) are very quick to abandon their limbs, even in cases where they get plenty of light. White Pines and Virginia Pines fall somewhere in between on the spectrum, though they're much closer to Pitch Pines in limb abandonment behavior than they are to hemlocks.
As I worked, Sally was trying to root through a pile of wooden pallets to get what I imagined was a chipmunk. Had she stuck to it, that one pallet she tried to pull from the middle of the stack eventually would have come loose. What are those pallets even there for? They must date back twelve years to the construction of the house. What sorts of things come on pallets? Concrete blocks? Shingles? Bathtubs? Cases of vodka?
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