Treenut Home | projects | reforest | 2020

Treenut's Forest Notes for 2020

(Year of the Corona-virus Pandemic )

2020 Farm Notes:

Because of the pandemic we only made three trips to the farm this year. This didn't leave much time to work in the woods.

  • Check on progress of Ginko seedlings I planted last fall
  • Clean up/ clean out 'guest house'. Check condition of structure and of roof (still good)
  • Transplant Catulpa seedlings from my nursery in yard and orchard area.
  • Continue cutting brush in windbreak to continue release of 2018 plantings.
  • Neighbor, to South, had lot line surveyed. new line 20' onto my land.
  • Sewer needs new Drain Field (N. of driveway by guest house. )
  • Obtained hybrid Chestnut nuts from Al Ellingboe farm -- for seed.
  • There were NO oak acorns -- for seed -- in Madison this fall.

Unloading deck pieces for camper

Deck for Trailer

Deck pieces.

Even though we only used the camper three times this summer -- due to the pandemic -- we still set up the deck.

I built this deck in two sections that sit on blocks laid along the side of the camper. I needed to keep these as light as possible so that I could lift them onto the wagon for transport into the shed for winter. Even so, they require care so that the rear of the tractor doesn't lift under the load. (I tried to do this without the brush hog on the back for weight. This was a mistake as it made the job more thrilling than it needed to be. -- ask Debi.

More Transplants

Catulpa seedling

Catalpa Transplant

I transplanted 4-5 Catalpa seedlings in various places around the yard and next to the orchard (shown here). These were grown from seed from the tree that came from Mom's friend's (Irene) house in Shorewood Hills, Madison.

The first of these I planted next to our garage in Madison but it was too close to the garage to keep. Before I cut it down, I got some seed and planted one tree next to the corn crib at the farm.

I learned that you need to put screen around the base (mice killed it) but the roots are tough and they keep sending up new shoots.

American Chestnut (hybrid) seed for nursery

Chestnut seed

American Chestnuts.

My friend, Al Elingboe, has a plantation of hybrid American Chestnut trees at his farm in southern Wisconsin. He was unable to gather nuts this fall so he suggested I pick a few.

By the time I got there all the burrs had opened and the nuts had already been eaten (wildlife loves these nuts). EXCEPT for three that were hanging on one of the trees. (actually there were three unopened burrs under one other tree.

seed pots

Potted nuts.

Seed cage

Caged pots.

Chestnut seeds need to go through a vernalization (cold treatment) process before they will sprout. This is best done as close to natural conditions as possible (soil, water, temperature).

To protect these from squirrels, I put the potted seeds in cages and then I bury the whole thing in my compost pile.

What Happened?

When I dug this cage out of the compost pile, I placed the whole thing in the green house and waited. And waited. Finally I opened one of the pots and looked for the seed. It was rotted. They all were rotted.

I don't know what happened. I guess I have more to learn about starting Chestnuts from seed. Maybe the squirrels knew something and this is why these seeds were still un-eaten in the Chestnut grove. Squirrels are pretty good at knowing about such things.