Thursday, August 14, 2008

Wildlife Management

From Paul

Wildlife management?

I've been eyeing our 'Westersted' witchhazel for some time now. I'm not sure how long we've had it, but it's rather leggy and tree-like. This might suit some fine, as this would be an unusual alternative to the average patio tree (dogwood, redbud, crabapple, etc.).

But, I want to see more blooms, and the way you get more blooms is to have more stems that can bear them. So, that's why I've been contemplating giving the 'Westerstede' a once-over tip pruning. Doing so would encourage vegetative buds further back on the branches to break and grow.

Today, though, I noticed that some creature (squirrels, I think; possibly chipmunks) have been removing branch tips to get at this season's nearly ripe seed pods.

Normally, this would tick me off and get me thinking of ways to, erm, discourage said creatures (Don't get me wrong, I really do like wildlife, but one can only take so much before going Elmer Fudd), but this may turn out (I hope) to have serendipitously met my pruning goals.

I wonder if I could get the critters to tarp the trimmings and take them to the compost.

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