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The flip side to my crusade against Norway Maple (non-native and invasive) is a concerted effort to plant native species. I have concentrated on trying to re-establish some of the varieties that have been all but wiped out by disease. A couple of American Elms are coming along nicely and I hope to get in some American Chestnut soon.
Very small saplings are difficult to protect without smothering. The trees I have planted are usually over a meter high and I have used everything from nylons to plumbing supplies to protect them from deer, rabbits and mice. Quite frankly the list of nibbling scavengers includes most every creature out there. I have had luck with physical barriers and especially with insulated foam pipe wrap. An alternative method used by some is to urinate on your plantings. Supposedly it is quite effective. I, however, would find the re-application after each rain to be too much of a commitment.
we think the nibblers are some type of rodent - yes, we're rural enough for deer, but they're not very common and the ringing is always much lower than i would expect from them ... (said with conviction but i'm a town-y by upbringing so what the heck do i know anyway)
my husband suggested the males of the family could pee on the treelings (and i thought he was joking ...) but i'm really not mentally prepared for that :)
so at the moment i have my fingers crossed (in a sort of "what will be, will be" way ) with the hope that, because the weather is on the up, there's enough other greenery around.
the next step will be to search for something cheap that likes wet feet - at the moment willow is the likely candidate as we have gobs of it self seeding anyway. any screams or howls of protest welcome (as long as they have practical suggestions for (remember, cheap) alternatives).
been there, planted those .. (and,yes, they're still alive)
i have these ideas of planting until space runs out ... not there yet. (i come from a part of the world which has small fields, hedges, trees ... and here on the farms it's like trees were alien life-forms to be cut down at first opportunity)
thanks for the alder tip ... the forester where we buy our treelings isn't very friendly ... very old-style "nie ma" for those who get the point ...
but i do believe we have it self-seeding too (tho' it's not as prolific as the willow (is anything) or even the birch). i'll be out trawling The Swamp (ok, the boggy area) soon - things tend to root easily there though it's too wet for them to establish a deep root system.
it's still very early here - my forsythia is just about opening though it's been out for about 10 days down in wrzeszcz. there's a huge magnolia soulangeana in town on my way to work and it's still firmly closed too.
and the farmers have just started ploughing for spring crops.
staring unenthusiastically at a DC power supply, wishing she was out digging in the garden.
I'm just back from a trip to Greece - the lemon trees are flowering and the scent is sweet and spicy. The citrus trees have both blossom and ripe fruits on them at the same time - two crops a year.
The fields and roadsides are full of anemones - deep red colours, like poppies on steroids. The greens are astonishing - there's nothing like a Mediterranean spring.