This past Saturday a package arrived on the doorstep. It was the 27 bare root shrubs I ordered back in December!?!? I knew they were coming, but somehow lost sight of when. I was thankful they at least had the decency to show up on a weekend (with halfway decent weather to boot)!
The first order of business was to verify the order and get those guys and gals into water. Then it was on to the digging.
Thankfully Rich is an expert digger and an ever willing co-conspirator.
We spaced the plants about 5 feet apart as we want this hedge to be dense and tightly packed. Then we doused the roots with mycorrhizal fungi and got them planted.
A good watering for each one and the next step was to fence them in, mostly to protect them from deer, but also because the field to the right gets tilled, seeded, and harvested so its helpful to give the farmer a visual guide of where NOT to go.
We’ve had really good luck with bailing twine (its orange plastic, I know, gross, but it holds up extremely well to weathering and we’ve been using the same sections for years now) and step in posts. We used a bit of a criss-cross pattern with a solid section around the top. It is wide enough that it ought to discourage too much nibbling by the deer, but not intense enough to cause damage to any other critters (our dogs included).
The hedge is still only about 2/3 done. Another shipment of more bare root shrubs is scheduled for pick up sometime early May, that ought to finish the hedge and allow us to create some islands of trees and shrubs along the road.
The varieties that will make up the hedge are:
American Hazelnut (Corylus americana)
Red Osier Dogwood (Cornus sericea)
Winterberry (Ilex verticillata) 1 male ‘Southern Gentleman’, 3 females ‘Winter Red’
Pagoda Dogwood (Cornus alternifolia)
Vernal Witch Hazel (Hamamelis vernalis)
Arctic Blue Dwarf Willow (Salix purpurea ‘Nana’)
We are excited to see the plants grow and knit together, both for wildlife purposes and as a much needed natural wind and snow break come winter. With any luck we can actually get some hazelnuts to harvest too!
I’ll be sure to post more when the rest of the shrubs arrive and get installed!