Category Archives for Shrubs & Trees

Pecans Past

March 19, 2009

Shortly after we moved here, we planted a couple of pecan trees in our orchard.  One was a Western Schley variety, and the other was a Colby pecan.

The goats got in the orchard a few times and girdled a few of the young trees. One of the pecans bit the dust due to those goatly depredations. The other one continued to grow, and a couple of years ago had a few pecans on it for the first time. The Farmer still has one of those pecans tucked away somewhere among his treasures.

However, one lonesome pecan tree isn’t going to produce as many pecans as The Farmer would like.  And we kept hearing reports of bumper pecan crops around here this year, so The Farmer was miffed because all he had on his tree were some dried up old leaves.

Pecan Tree

Or so he thought. 

One day after his new knees were working nicely, he decided to go up to the orchard and have a closer look.

Top of Pecan Tree

Surprise, surprise! His tree had lots of pecans too!  What he thought from a distance were old leaves turned out to be pecans when he got up close.

Of course, he just had to harvest all those wonderful pecans, but the question was how to get them off the tree.

He could stand on the ground and knock the pecans off the lower branches, but the ones at the top of the tree were a little hard to reach.  Determined to reach his prizes, however, The Farmer used those new knees to climb up on the pallets around the tree and brace himself on the tree so he could whack at them with his walking stick.

The Farmer in a pecan tree.

This went on for some time and  he got lots of pecans knocked down onto the ground.  I will let you in on a little secret though . . . if you want to harvest nuts that have fallen to the ground, it’s really better if you keep the grasses mowed down around the tree.  It’s VERY difficult to see nuts nestled down in tufts of grass among tall weeds.

Especially when they sailed through the air like this . . .

Pecans Fly Off Tree

And all too many of them did exactly that.  Those airborne torpedos sailed waaayyyyyy out there!  We searched in the grasses around the tree, going around and around and around and, well, finally gave it up.

We gathered up quite a few pecans, but I’m sure some were lost… well, like a ball in tall weeds.  Or maybe a needle in a haystack.  Whatever cliche you want to use, those pecans aren’t going to be found any time soon.

But at least The Farmer knows his pecan tree didn’t let him down.

Mooned

November 20, 2008

We’ve got some crisp, cold weather this week.  Okay, I should probably say that it’s cold for the south.  I know our northern neighbors would probably snicker at us for whining about a little nip in the air and frost on the ground.

A lot of trees have lost their leaves, but some are still hanging on.  The oak tree at the corner of our front yard and driveway has leaves that have turned rusty red.

Some mornings I get mooned as it is still visible in a lovely blue sky.

We’re having some beautiful sunny days here in the south, even if they’re cold enough to freeze ice in the water buckets!

Today’s Tree In Creek Pictures

October 9, 2008

The water is down, and the tree is now long wise in the creek instead of across it.

Toby helped me check things out, but he wasn’t brave enough to jump in the water today!

The top of the tree is still spanning the width of the creek bed, but another bout of high water will break off a lot of those branches as they dry out and get brittle.

It’s still cloudy today and looks like we could get more rain. I guess that would be good, as we’re still way behind on rainfall averages. It just plays havoc with my work cause of the “rain pain”. Such is life!

Tree In Creek

October 8, 2008

Please note, that’s a tree IN the creek, not BY the creek.

A few weeks ago we had some windy days.  Apparently one of the trees by the creek gave it up and fell in the water.  We first noticed it when The Farmer was out making the path in the woods.

 I figured it couldn’t have happened too long before we found it, since the leaves were all still green.

When I was out walking this past Monday, I took another picture of the tree.  By then the leaves were pretty well all dying and brown.

The Farmer and I have been wondering what would happen when we got a hard rain. If the tree stayed put, it would catch a lot of debris and water would back up behind it and flood over the road.  It’s not unusual for water to flood over the road, because the county put in two smaller culverts instead of one big one, and the debris catches there and water backs up.

Fortunately for us, that part of the road is past our driveway, so we aren’t really affected.

It started raining yesterday, and by mid-morning today we had 3 1/4 inches of rain in the gauge. When it finally stopped raining long enough for me to go out and do chores (hey! the animals weren’t out of their sheds either!), I took a walk back to see what had happened with the tree.

Obviously, the tree wasn’t heavy enough to withstand the pressure of all that water pushing at it, and gave way.  I thought it might since it wasn’t buried into the ground to help anchor it in place.

And by the way, if you compare the tree stump on the bank in the first picture to this last picture, you can see how high the creek water was!

Name That Tree!

September 1, 2008

It’s not unusual for everything and everyone around here to be a little nuts.  But come this time of year, it’s even nuttier than usual!

We have several huge black walnut trees in our backyard, and they are loaded down with nuts.  Down in the bottom pasture there’s a big old hickory tree, and it too has an abundance of nuts this year.

Hickory Nuts

Hickory Nuts

There’s another big nut tree by the driveway.  I thought at first it was a hickory tree, but the nuts on it don’t look quite the same.

Whatever this tree is, it’s loaded down with nuts!  So…. what is it people????

Now The Farmer and I checked out hickory nut trees yesterday in a book we have called, “Guide to Southern Trees” by the Harrars.  We were surprised to discover there are no less than 15 types of hickory trees, and that pecan trees are actually considered to be a type of hickory.

Also interesting to note is the fact only 3 of the 23 known species of hickories and pecans occur outside the United States, with 1 being in Mexico, and the other 2 native to the Orient.  A truly American group of trees!

So we’ve figured out that both these trees are indeed some kind of hickory, but the question remains, exactly which ones???

Even though in 10th grade we had a project in biology class to identify trees during the winter by their bark and twigs, I’m afraid I’m not very good at it.  So how about you?  To aid in your identification of this tree, I took a picture of the trunk/bark. 

I will be eagerly awaiting to hear from some smart person who can tell me what kind of hickory tree this is!