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Final Fall Clean Up

We are in the home stretch of cleaning up the yard, the garden and the trees. Once all this work is done, we have a four month respite from outdoor work, other than cleaning up after any snowmageddon. Here’s hoping we don’t see any more winters like 2010.

We spend time now doing preventive maintenance so we don’t have problems if we get ice or snow, or both. That picture above was from before we replaced our roof and put in wider gutters to handle the runoff. We were lucky we didn’t have leaks, but we do try and fix things before they become an issue.

This year the derecho in June did more damage to our trees than we originally could tell. Now that all the leaves have fallen, we see evidence of major tree limbs suspended above and hanging onto other trees south of our house. Those limbs could weigh down with ice and snow, and take out trees threatening the south side, and the heat pumps. We have to decide how to safely get them out, and we need to crown clean our huge maples and oaks, to keep them from losing any more branches.

During the ice storm a few years back, we lost quite a few of our conifers. They couldn’t handle the weight of the wet heavy snow. Our trees provide us shade, privacy and are a noise block from the distant highway. Taking care of them is a priority.

Walking around I found many dead branches caught in other trees. They need to come out. I also saw many trees leaning over from the sustained winds of the storms last year and this year. We went through two hurricanes, a tropical storm and a derecho in a fourteen month period, from August 2011 until October 2012. As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Those three branches are just hanging on the other trees, no longer attached to anything. We have at least four places where this occurred. Plus, there is a huge dead limb up in my bird feeder tree, my maple. One of the two that cracked during the derecho came down, but this one didn’t.

The trees that shade our home, and provide nesting areas for the birds, and allow us the privacy on our patio are a very important part of our property. That little bit of attention, pruning, crown cleaning, fertilizing and caring for them, keeps them healthy. We will spend some time this week and next getting them ready for winter. After all, they are worth the effort.

About AnnieRie

Retired, I am following my dream of living in quiet west Howard County, a rural oasis, not far from the urban chaos, but just far enough. I love to cook, bake, garden, and travel. I volunteer at Howard County Conservancy. I lead nature hikes, manage programs and show children all the wonders of nature, and the agricultural connection to their food.

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