The Rhodie Run, it has begun

Mike posted about the truck load of rhodies, and here I am posting about planting them.  Most of them.  Oof.

I dropped three trees and planted 9 rhodies, heeling in the other 4 we brought back from Kellie & John’s.  It was a big job, and I was at it all day Saturday.  One of the firs I took down was really big, and chopping thru it with my trusty axe about did me in.  It came down exactly where I wanted it, however, and Mike tells me there is a really neat curl to the uppermost part of the trunk. One of those rhodies I planted was “technically” a two man job, btw.

So far all the rhodies have gone in on either side of the path that takes off from the top of the rock stairway below the Big Tree.   I intend to plant others here and there between the Big Tree and the future streambed, and in later years,  down the length of the driveway as far as the property corner and the large iris bed.  I picture a shady and winding walk, with rhododendrons and a variety of lovely decidious shrubs arcing overhead, shelterd by a few large firs, dramatized by some miniature conifers here and there and puncuated by a seasonal stream meandering between boulders and gravel lined pools.  I also picture myself getting old before it ever gets done.

If the rain ever lets up today, I’ll get that big fir I doprred chunked up and removed, and get some pics taken.  I’d also like to get the berries and saplings removed as far out as the streambed, and there are a good half dozen firs to come out of that area yet, but that won’t happen today.  If I can focus on that area this summer for this first season of rhodie transplants, I’ll be happy.  Unfortunately, all the hard work has to be done ASAP, and there are a lot more rhodies to be removed from Kellie’s.

Also, I noticed this weekend that a number of firs slated for removal have already developed split tops, indicating they’re not among the healthiest – a mounting problem thru our entire forest.  I’m choosing the keepers for their straight tops and good location.  I am also thinking I will girdle a few of the tallest firs and leave them as standing snags.  The sooner I can kill the unhealthy firs, the sooner they won’t be stealing water and nutrients from the Big Fir, the lucky few I leave behind, and all the shrubs I plan to plant.

Shoveling a truckload of chips into the truck Thursday, shoveling it out again and digging up all those rhodies on Friday, then all that sawing, chopping, digging and hauling Saturday left me pretty pooped Sunday.  So yesterday, I staying in and rested.

And today it wants to be wet.  Geez.


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