Friday, January 24, 2014

The Canadian Hemlock

            Maples? No. Oaks? No. How about Pines? Nope. Spruce Trees? Not those either. Crabs, Pears, Cherries? Nope, nope and nope; all these need full sun, when young they need to be planted in a sunny spot.

            Thus the dilemma of the “shade people”; those folks with that beautiful place in the woods.

            You may be thinking “Why would they want to plant a tree? They live in the woods!”

            To carve a spot out in the woods means exactly that “they carved a spot out in the woods”. There are no branches bursting with leaves to block out the neighbors at ground level or even higher when you carve out a spot in the woods; all the leaves are at the top of the trees, where the sunlight is. Below this canopy of foliage is typically a bunch of shade loving small stuff; great, if you’re hiding from your worm and ant neighbors, but offers very little seclusion from your picture windowed and slider door neighbors.

            Now, given time, your little clearing will activate some forest floor growth around the edges. Things like brambles and tree seedlings will sprout up and eventually block out the neighbors. But that’s going to take time, and it’s going to look unkempt.

            So what are our woodsy relatives to do? They originally bought this little piece of privacy for exactly that, privacy. Now, it’s a bunch of tree trunks between them and their neighbor’s watchful eyes.

            There is an evergreen tree that will grow in the shade, it’s call a Canadian Hemlock. It likes the sun, but it does very well in the shade too.

            When planting this tree position it strategically; you have a deck, they have a deck; you have a picture window, they have a picture window; you have a hot tub, they have a kitchen sink window…. I think you get the picture…. you might be asking for a stick to poke out your mind’s eye if you’ve got the kitchen sink window and your “less than health conscience” neighbor has the hot tub. You may need to start out with a bigger tree to put out that “eye fire”.

            Keep a hose handy for its first two years of life, giving it a good soaking three times a week for the first month in its new home, once a week until two candles are on its cake.

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