With the new year only nine days away, and with some time to spare today (after wrapping Cathy’s Christmas present), I decided to lift a few trees and get a head-start on the season.
A couple of weeks ago I lifted two Huckleberries, Vaccinium sp., to see if I could get even more of a head-start on the season. I had been eyeing this specimen since the fall. It’s bigger than the ones I collected earlier, and frankly is destined for my collection if it survives. As you can see, I have one of the two trunks of this tree in exactly the shape it needs to be in in order to make a believable tree form. There’s movement and taper, and sub-trunks that I can train branches from. My plan is to develop a typical Huckleberry shape in miniature. The second trunk is going to require a few years of development. From the chop point I need a new leader that I can let run (and wire to introduce some movement in it; if I don’t do this at the right time, once the wood sets it’ll be way too hard to bend). I don’t mind this development challenge. It’s a very, very nice Huckleberry.
The trunk base is 3.5″ across, and it’s 18″ to the chop on the taller trunk. I figure it’s got to be on the order of 50 years old, mostly based on the size. My home was built in 1982, and this Huckleberry was growing at the base of a pine tree that’s been here all that time, so it’s most likely at least 35 years old. Fifty isn’t out of the question.
Here’s a Live oak, Quercus virginiana, that I grew from seed started in 2010. It’s been in the field getting thicker for about five years now. The trunk base is 2.5″ above the root crown, and it’s got nice taper to the chop point. My plan for it will be to train it in the classic Live oak style, with broad spreading branches that droop to the ground. Depending on where this one pushes buds, another chop may be in order. But I’ve got a good start.
Let me know what you think of these trees. And I hope all of you have a Merry Christmas!