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Damage In Tolland

9th annual Lawn Thread 2018

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Tamarack,  you had said that American Chestnuts are really great at regrowing..  Like I said in a previous post I had another small 10"  saplings and stupid me ran it over  with the lawn tractor this spring.  Right to 1" of it coming out of the ground.   I walked into the pasture and checked and its sprouting a couple of new small leaves. Soil is bone dry but I gave it a good watering so maybe (hopefully) it will continue growing.

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How do they propagate anyway? Runners like an aspen? Seed with a deep tap root like an oak? Cuttings like a willow?

edit...saw it has a deep tap root so i’d guess more like an oak?

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2 hours ago, dendrite said:

How do they propagate anyway? Runners like an aspen? Seed with a deep tap root like an oak? Cuttings like a willow?

edit...saw it has a deep tap root so i’d guess more like an oak?

For some reason (I'm sure it's been well researched), the blight doesn't seem to affect the below-ground portion of American chestnuts, and as many folks have seen, that species' ability to remain viable and resprout is awesome.  Oaks are great at resprouting, too, though I don't know if they could handle decades beneath a plow layer.  However, the charcoal industry in SNE lived off oak sprouts (fancy term is "coppice management") - cut one tree and get 5-6 new ones growing like gangbusters, and for charcoal one needed neither huge stems nor nice straight, limb-free ones. 

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On 6/11/2018 at 1:08 PM, tamarack said:

Most abundant species on my 62 acres of forest:  Red maple, balsam fir, white ash, brown ash, in that order.  The two ash species are about 20% of the volume but probably more than 1/3 of actual trees, with brown ash nearly pure (some RM) on some wet acres.  Not looking forward to the arrival of EAB.

Nice looking chestnut, though the form looks more Chinese than American - bushy for max nut production.  Hope it and the smaller one (how do you keep the deer from destroying it) continue to prosper.

The vigor of chestnut stumps/roots is amazing.  In January 1989 we thinned a 30-year-old white pine plantation on the state lot in Topsham (midcoast.)  Prior to the pine being planted in Sept 1959, that 15 or so acres had been a market garden ("Best turnips in Maine!") for at least 20 years before that - furrows remain visible even now after last winter's 2nd thinning.  I set up some growth plots after the 1st thin, and when I did the remeasure in October 1989, there was a 5-ft-tall American chestnut in one of the skid trails.  The only way such a tree can achieve that height in one season is from sprouting, and in this case the sprouts had to originate in whatever roots or stump fragments that were beneath the plow depth,  50+ years after the land was cleared and plowed, those fragments retained enough vigor to produce that tall sprout, and once started, the tree grew amazingly well through 2010, reaching 50'+ tall and averaging 1/2"/year diameter increment, while producing nuts from about 2005 on.  Unfortunately, it showed signs of blight in 2012, and by 2016 everything above 20' was dead.  The lower portion now looks like a bottle brush, with abundant epicormic sprouts, but I expect the disease to continue downward to ground level.  The 16" diameter older tree used for controlled pollination during the 20-oughts has also died back to ground level.

How are the balsams doing up your way? A good number of them, particularly the older trees don't look too happy around here. I've had several die on my property die in the past 3 years and at least 1 or 2 look like they may die this year. The needles turn a reddish brown in the late spring, early summer and then the tree dies. There are a number of rotting trunks from others that have died in the past 10+ years and need to take them down when I get around to it . 

I think it's balsam wooly adelgid as I've seen these fuzzy white things on the trunks. I'm near the southern limit of their native range - in fact, the only reason they exist here at this latitude is because of elevation. The furthest south I've seen them in these parts is near where the Mass Pike crosses over the crest of the Berkshires in Becket.

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8 hours ago, wxmanmitch said:

How are the balsams doing up your way? A good number of them, particularly the older trees don't look too happy around here. I've had several die on my property die in the past 3 years and at least 1 or 2 look like they may die this year. The needles turn a reddish brown in the late spring, early summer and then the tree dies. There are a number of rotting trunks from others that have died in the past 10+ years and need to take them down when I get around to it . 

I think it's balsam wooly adelgid as I've seen these fuzzy white things on the trunks. I'm near the southern limit of their native range - in fact, the only reason they exist here at this latitude is because of elevation. The furthest south I've seen them in these parts is near where the Mass Pike crosses over the crest of the Berkshires in Becket.

Could be BWA, though it's usually more of a problem at lower elevations.  It feeds on the needles, so I'm not sure if the stuff on the bark is related.  Having said that, I agree that the number of "orange" fir seems higher this year that usual, and it's not always the larger/older ones as I'd expect - fir is a short-lived species so some of the older ones usually die each year.  It's not spruce budworm, as populations in the US, though increasing, remain sufficiently low so that their feeding isn't noticeable.  Unlike eastern Canada, PQ in particular, which is getting hammered.

Farthest south I've seen fir in Maine is around mile 12 of the turnpike.  However, I've noted a few along I-84 in NE PA, in the higher hills between Matamoros and Scranton. 

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Speaking of Chestnuts all of a sudden over the past 3 or 4 days two Downy Woodpeckers have found my Chinese/American Chestnut tree in my front lawn.  They have done a number on it.  Very brave birds.  I can almost walk up to the tree and they don't fly away.  I have that black tar tree healing stuff and filled in some of the holes.  Then I applied tree wrap.  They still kept  coming.  We have 3 cats and we have this spray that keeps animals away from furniture.  Has a bitter spray.  So I sprayed the tree.  Woodpeckers could have cared less.  Then the idea of a  fake owl and set that up but they learned within an hour it was not a threat.  Just hung old CD's thinking maybe the wind will scare them.  Neighbors will think I'm nuts!

d.jpg

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6 minutes ago, Lava Rock said:

So I'll just say our $10K lawn project last Fall looks terrible. Pic tells the tale.

backyard.jpg

Looks like you desperately need rain.  SE slope getting maximum sun, drying out soil.  My lawn is green because we water up to 4 hours a day, as much as the well can handle.  Guess you have too much lawn for that?  Hopefully, fingers crossed you will get some light rain over the next 36 hours and then some good T storms with fropa next week.  Too much rain however looks like it could cause erosion.  Are you applying fert?  We use Agway's 15-1-10 "high organic".  Applied every 4-6 weeks.

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One more lawn post.  Here's a picture of the lawn.  Lots of watering and organic fert but still losing the battle to the drought.  2" of rain since 4/25/18 will do that.  CD's seem to be working with the woodpecker  (only been up for an hour).  Also off topic but there is my Prius Prime plug in.  Love that car.  About 25-30 miles pure electric and then the hybrid motor kicks in.  Even after the electric is drained the hybrid motor has been giving me about 70mpg.  Only problem is the car is not 4 wheel drive and low to the ground so you definitely need a 2nd "winter" vehicle.

lawn.jpg

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19 minutes ago, wxeyeNH said:

Looks like you desperately need rain.  SE slope getting maximum sun, drying out soil.  My lawn is green because we water up to 4 hours a day, as much as the well can handle.  Guess you have too much lawn for that?  Hopefully, fingers crossed you will get some light rain over the next 36 hours and then some good T storms with fropa next week.  Too much rain however looks like it could cause erosion.  Are you applying fert?  We use Agway's 15-1-10 "high organic".  Applied every 4-6 weeks.

Fertilized last week with Lescos. Thought about drilling separate well for irrigation, but it's a lot of money to have a green lawn. We also got some pretty lousy loam during the lawn install. I actually slit seeded last Sept and used high quality KBG, but it all died off after only getting to ~0.5" in height. I swear nothing grows on our hill except weeds.

12 minutes ago, dendrite said:

Looks like a desert. How low do you mow?

I mowed this past Sunday, but that will be it for awhile. The far right side actually has decent growth, but much of it is clover which I'm ok with since it acts as a natural fertilizer for grass. The rest might as well be a desert.

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I'd pave it and paint it green, Or Have sports fields come and roll out some turf like Gillette............................:lol:

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Just now, dryslot said:

I'd pave it and paint it green, Or Have sports fields come and roll out some turf like Gillette............................:lol:

Yeah...the artificial field turf will stay nice and green. Lots of money saved on mowing and fert too.

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4 minutes ago, Lava Rock said:

Fertilized last week with Lescos. Thought about drilling separate well for irrigation, but it's a lot of money to have a green lawn. We also got some pretty lousy loam during the lawn install. I actually slit seeded last Sept and used high quality KBG, but it all died off after only getting to ~0.5" in height. I swear nothing grows on our hill except weeds.

I mowed this past Sunday, but that will be it for awhile. The far right side actually has decent growth, but much of it is clover which I'm ok with since it acts as a natural fertilizer for grass. The rest might as well be a desert.

I am not mowing our fields at all until we get back to a normal pattern of rain every few days.  We mowed the lawn yesterday for the first time in 10 days  but set the tractor at 4" instead of 3.5".  Longer grass is best during a dry spell..

Lava, maybe your fert. is just sitting on the surface and waiting for a good soak to drain down to the roots.  You'll get there.  I never thought I would have a lawn again after our big house move 5 years ago!

1a.jpg

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9 minutes ago, dendrite said:

Yeah...the artificial field turf will stay nice and green. Lots of money saved on mowing and fert too.

Exactly.

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6 minutes ago, wxeyeNH said:

I am not mowing our fields at all until we get back to a normal pattern of rain every few days.  We mowed the lawn yesterday for the first time in 10 days  but set the tractor at 4" instead of 3.5".  Longer grass is best during a dry spell..

Lava, maybe your fert. is just sitting on the surface and waiting for a good soak to drain down to the roots.  You'll get there.  I never thought I would have a lawn again after our big house move 5 years ago!

1a.jpg

Cool pic. I mow at 3.5-4" all the time. Doesn't seem to help much. The fert got soaked in with the rain we got last week, although is wasn't much (0.25"). I wish we could get into a pattern of some showers every few days. We haven't even had a Tstorm yet this season.

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13 minutes ago, Lava Rock said:

Fertilized last week with Lescos. Thought about drilling separate well for irrigation, but it's a lot of money to have a green lawn. We also got some pretty lousy loam during the lawn install. I actually slit seeded last Sept and used high quality KBG, but it all died off after only getting to ~0.5" in height. I swear nothing grows on our hill except weeds.

I mowed this past Sunday, but that will be it for awhile. The far right side actually has decent growth, but much of it is clover which I'm ok with since it acts as a natural fertilizer for grass. The rest might as well be a desert.

KBG requires a ton of water to maintain.  You should look into more drought resistant grasses like tall fescues that can go longer periods between watering/rains.

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13 minutes ago, Baroclinic Zone said:

KBG requires a ton of water to maintain.  You should look into more drought resistant grasses like tall fescues that can go longer periods between watering/rains.

I knew this going in, but expected some growth. In contrast, check out how good the lawn looked last july. This was ~1month after hydroseed. After that it went downhill.

lawn.jpg

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I'd be curious to know how deep the roots were able to establish by last Fall.  The shallower they are, the more water they would need. And if the weather was hot last Summer, the root growth may have stopped so they may only be a couple inches right now.  I'd keep at it and water the lawn as much as you can and then overseed it again this Fall.  

https://plantscience.psu.edu/research/centers/turf/extension/factsheets/cool-season

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yeah lava you need water, and plenty of it. new grass will die off quickly with lack of water. you didn't have a wet fall, and spring has been quite dry since mid-April. can you install irrigation off of your existing well? 

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37 minutes ago, SJonesWX said:

yeah lava you need water, and plenty of it. new grass will die off quickly with lack of water. you didn't have a wet fall, and spring has been quite dry since mid-April. can you install irrigation off of your existing well? 

Unfortunately no. Our well water has high levels of uranium which we have filtration for, but we also have radon in water vapor which is also mitigated. the system is only capable of treating ~50gal at a time before recharge. Using this water for irrigation would overload the sys. I have valves in place to bypass sys, but doing that brings the radon vapors back into the shower water, dishwasher, washer, etc. Only way to do it right is to drill another well ($5,000), then install sprinklers (~$3-4K). We're going to redo the other side of the house this Fall which will be $3-4K. We've spent so much money on lawn stuff and to see it look the way it does feels like we threw a bunch of money away. We could bring in sod and that would probably die too.:lol:

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18 minutes ago, Lava Rock said:

Unfortunately no. Our well water has high levels of uranium which we have filtration for, but we also have radon in water vapor which is also mitigated. the system is only capable of treating ~50gal at a time before recharge. Using this water for irrigation would overload the sys. I have valves in place to bypass sys, but doing that brings the radon vapors back into the shower water, dishwasher, washer, etc. Only way to do it right is to drill another well ($5,000), then install sprinklers (~$3-4K). We're going to redo the other side of the house this Fall which will be $3-4K. We've spent so much money on lawn stuff and to see it look the way it does feels like we threw a bunch of money away. We could bring in sod and that would probably die too.:lol:

Sounds like there is a reason grass wasn't there to begin with

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8 minutes ago, mreaves said:

Sounds like there is a reason grass wasn't there to begin with

tongue in cheek right? seriously though I've thought that by watering with uranium water may actually kill the grass eventually. is this remotely possible?

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I doubt there is sufficient uranium in the water to cause sufficient toxicity to the grass to stop it growing.  Can the hose bib be re-plumbed to draw water before it goes into the treatment system?

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5 minutes ago, Brewbeer said:

I doubt there is sufficient uranium in the water to cause sufficient toxicity to the grass to stop it growing.  Can the hose bib be re-plumbed to draw water before it goes into the treatment system?

It probably could but I'd be afraid of running the well dry. It's 500', so plenty of water in the hole, but it only has 1.5GPM flow to replenish. Pretty slow. My buddy insists on hiring a dowser and claims they could find plentiful water near where we would drill a new well. Maybe we could be so lucky as to hit a hand dug well spot, but I doubt it.

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33 minutes ago, Lava Rock said:

tongue in cheek right? seriously though I've thought that by watering with uranium water may actually kill the grass eventually. is this remotely possible?

Yes, tongue in cheek, sort of.  Sometimes it just isn't meant to be.  That's why so many New Englanders moved west, it's just a heck of a lot easier to grow stuff in other places! 

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