Winter update....

Well, it's official -- my ever so brainy neighbor is going to decimate the trees that border our properties. He's already taken out every one that had trunk on his side of the property line and he hired a surveyor so he could be clear on what others he can cut down. <Sigh> In the last few months, I'll wager he's cleared 30 or more trees from a 50'x75' area. What a shame -- some of those trees have been there for 50 to 100 years. :-( I did some checking and there is no legal recourse per se, although he should have obtained a permit but pursuing that is just silly. Personally, I think he'll see the err of his ways this spring as the rains get heavy -- he just created a rather sizable drainage issue over there.
On the brighter side of things, most of the water runoff should go to HIS property now instead of MINE and this will open my plot to quite a bit of sunshine in the back (our plots are only on the 50'x200' range, so we're not talking terribly large mind you). Since he's been so kind as to add some dappled sunlight back there, I'll be plotting a return of the great forest -- yup, I'm looking for trees to plant along the edge of my property. :)
Since we've entered into colder weather, he appears to have eased off on his chopping frenzy. We'll be watching over the next few months to see what else he does back there then finalize a planting plan to rebuild. I imagine I'll look primarily towards trees with reasonably fast growth rates, decent spreads, and probably something that has extended wildlife value (such as berries, fruits, or nuts). There's a limited number of trees that fit that bill and will grow here in Zone 6A (plus the soil is fairly clayish in spite of efforts to amend it) but we'll manage.
The bird feeding has been a hit -- probably running a couple hundred or more birds through a day here. We're seeing mostly the usual suspects -- sparrows, doves, cardinals, finches, and chickadees -- but a few others flit in and out, as do the tree rats of course. Big ole tree rat was on the largest of the feeders this morning -- knocked himself silly trying to bolt when we opened the door to let the dogs out for the day.
The dogs have destroyed the lawn in the front but at the same time they've also managed to fertilize the yard quite substantially. :) I'll be heading out tomorrow to take advantage of the warm weather (supposed to be 55!) and wash most of it into the soil. Although we've had some fairly cold weather (down into the 20s) it hasn't been sustained enough for the ground to freeze very deep and this little warming snap is just what we needed to give the ground some saturation ability.
That's about it for the winter update here -- we do not do much gardening when the season goes cold on us, preferring to hibernate a bit ourselves. :) Now we'll take time to focus on the indoors and begin looking towards spring planning.
James
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James,
Did your neighbor ever articulate *why* he wants to take down all the trees?
Dave

had
should
think
just
not
property.
his
imagine
decent
that
spite
more
flit
bolt
heading
and
weather
freeze
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trees?
He wants to gain more use of his property. It's not very sensible in the big scheme of things -- he's an older man, soon to be divorced, no kids and he has ample space cleared for anything he would do otherwise. There's not really enough room to build back there (anything bigger than a shed) so I don't know what else he could be thinking. Clearing the remaining section of his plot will only add to drainage problems and create a small, open swamp (we're all cut out of hills down here) not to mention kill our windbreak and shading back there. It's a real bummer -- I'm really hoping he'll at least leave the ones still up on the property line and a few of the larger ones that are more central to his plot. Believe it or not, there was quite a bit of wildlife living back there too. It's just an all around shame.
James
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I'm chopping down several trees too. Otherwise there will be no 2004 vegetable garden. I even asked my neighbor and got his permission to cut down three of HIS trees to allow more late afternoon sun onto the garden! Good neighbors communicate!

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This guy's a little nutty. When I was little (about 8 or so) he accused me of egging his house then threatened to beat me -- and he was serious, he actually flew off with profanity and everything. My mother was out there and told him to back off then he started threatening her. He's mellowed with the years (he's in his late 50s now) but he's still flakey at best.
There's nothing I can really do about it, we live in the city and it's an ass-backwards city at that, so I'm just hoping for the best. I keep the channels of communication as open as possible. We'll see how it goes. Worst case scenario -- I'll plant a bunch of river trees along the property line to soak up some of the runoff and put in a dry creek for the rest. :)
James
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(just kidding) seriously, that's a quarter of an acre. My first house in Nashville was 50' x 205' and were I to be back there now, I'd have it filled up by now, but it would take time That's 12,500 square foot!! So what you have is 10,000 square foot! (well not that much as you have to consider the piece the house takes out) But you have to look at it like that to get a better appreciation of perspective there...........<g> If you saw where I have planted all my raised beds at considering I almost have an acre, you'd laugh. It sounds like I have this HUGE garden, when in effect I have several raised beds that are packed tight near the house with paths between them and the majority of the land still unused because I need to clear out my own woods of undergrowth and thin some trees.
The pine beetle is doing his part by killing my magnificent Jack Pines, and despite that they're prone to snap and do massive damage when they do, I still love their height and that they are such tall over story trees. Sometimes I think I should just top them all and get it over with.......................but the thought makes me sad as I know I will never see that height of tree in my woods again in my lifetime. But this is about you.........
Since he's been so kind as to add some

property.
Go about your selection slowly and get good trees would you? True, he's destroyed a nice woods with such a massive removal, (would but you could have the soil that has lain underneath those great trees! It would be the most fine humus that only time and patience has created!).
If you want quick, and something that would grow in your climate, try a mimosa. Nice foliage, good structure, incredible flowers that drives hummingbirds and bees nutzoid.......<g>

his
imagine
decent
Just remember if you plant nut trees that the roots have substances that aren't compatable to other things. Black Walnut trees are devilish with other things.......I can't grow tomato's CLOSE to those black walnut trees I have on the upper terrace of my land..........Look towards your agricultural extension agent to provide you with ideas
There's a limited number of trees that fit that

spite
I think you'll be surprised at the variety you have. Give it some research and build a berm while you can!

more
flit
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I'm about to do the same. My puppy, Sugar has decided since the side yard near the chain link fence is the perfect place to leave her massive mounds since Miz Mary's brother in law has electric fenced the pasture where she and Rose were doing their business..........I need to start showing her other alternatives. But today is perfect for turning the hose onto those love lumps ..........(maybe even chunk out some more of that forsythia I haven't dislodged yet :(

There's more than plenty of stuff around here to do, and I'll holler back once I've done some of it. Right now I have to run some enchilada casserole over to a couple of bottomless co-workers. I never know how to make less than a restaurant steam pan full of it when I make it............... madgardener up on the sunny ridge, back in FAiry Holler, overlooking English Mountain in EAstern Tennessee zone 7, Sunset zone 36

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the
Thankfully, he'll never get a bulldozer back there -- our properties are 50x200 and 75x200 (mine/his respectively). There's just not enough room on either side of either house to get any large equipment back there -- he'd have to drop it in by chopper and we live in a neighborhood where anyone who could afford that sort of thing wouldn't live. :)
I think he's just clearing it for lawn space of all things. I've no idea what he's thinking in the long run -- he has no kids, is in his late 50's and soon to be divorced, and he's not selling it any time soon by his own admission (he's held on to it for years even though he hasn't lived in it for nearly a decade). As far as yards go around here, it has plenty of space. I just don't get it -- he's not a gardener so that's not it either. Who knows. :-(

I don't know that we can do that here and I'm SURE that would trigger a lawsuit if I did do it!
a

(well
you
tight
some
Our plot has about 40 or so feet at the front and about 125 feet of length in the back -- the house sits in between of course. I've planted a crabapple and redbud in the front yard, and in the back I've planted a weeping willow, redbud, sunburst locust, sycamore, and some sort of pear (non-fruiting evidently -- not so much as a flower in 7 years). We have a couple of maples in the front as well as a big ole black walnut that I planted as a child when we got our trees on Arbor Day from school (I'm dating myself now I suppose!). The back is littered with a few mulberry trees, some walnuts ("volunteers" courtesy of the squirrels that have been harvesting the front!), a couple of cedars (one intertwined with a mulberry -- that's bad) and assorted other trees that I've never identified (I've a name for them, but I'll refrain <Grin>). The rest of the space is cleared and/or landscaped (lilacs in the front for example, new planting beds, etc.). Even with all that, there's still PLENTY of space for me to plant up. :-P It's a real shame to lose all that old growth back there but, being the optimist, I'm looking at it as an opportunity to plant what *I* want back there. When I'm done, the loss of his space will be minimized.

A mimosa is definitely one on the list, as well as a couple of more mulberries, some fruit, and shrubbery. With the rather drastic changes he's made and is likely to continue making, we really need to wait until spring to see what we're up against -- it's a tough call on sunlight and water until I've seen a little more. I'm hoping that way it's opened up will add significant light to the far back so I can plant a wildflower area -- I have a bunch of poppy seeds I bought late in the season that would be perfect back there. :)

I
agricultural
Yup. We have some walnuts here already and we've been looking at trees for some time now to fill other areas that need some shade and such. Since taking the trees out from in front of the driveway, I REALLY want to get another in front of the cars -- the sun out there is deadly to them.

Our front yard is a mess -- I haven't gotten out to clean up in a solid month, what with the cold and wet weather, and they've trampled the yard pretty badly. I'm heading out there now to work on it. On the plus side, my worms will be happy with what I'm about to wash into the soil as will the plants. :P

casserole
Run some up here to SW Ohio, will ya? :P

English
I swear I'm gonna look at buying some land down there, build me a little house and hide away from the world. :)
James
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on
who
well good thing for small favors then...............;)

either.
maybe he's going to take up lawn bowling...................lol

have
honey, a berm is a rise of soil like a little hill. It's not against the law to do that. Imagine an upward sloping hill with something backing it. It wouldn't be any different than if you decided to take full advantage of gardening by gardening UPWARDS as well as outwards and piled up the soil. Same thing. And a berm also has the wonderful attributes of being not only a deterrment of water coming downwards, but of buffering sound.............:)

identified
Good lord you have a small piece of woods yerself!! You need to come down to Eastern Tennessee and buy some of the still cheap land on the south side of English Mountain (on the North Carolina side) where it's ALL woods and chunk you out a clearing with a loooooooooooong driveway and mailbox to indicate yer there, (or take out a post office box at yer local postal office.......) then get yerself a double wide modular home (if you own the property you're sitting it up on, it's cheaper) and Bob's yer uncle.
It's a real shame to lose all that old growth back there

It already sounds like you have quite a little mini-woods going on for you there...........

I will see if any baby mimosa's pop up this spring and gently lift them and transplant them into a small pot and if they take, ship them to you later on.
With the rather drastic changes he's

add
have
Quick, while you have the cold in your favor you need to sow those poppy seeds on the ground so they'll chill and sprout for you and bloom. If you wait until spring, they won't have the stratification or chill time to germinate in time to give you a good blossoming.

for
Once I locate a willing person to come and remove those walnuts, I'll be one happy person. I have at least a bushel of walnuts I need picking up at the back ledge of my house now that have blackened. If I was smart, I'd just put them in the driveway and run over them, but I don't want all the tanic acid washing into my flowerbeds near the driveway I share with the bendejo....

the
Well I never got to the washing of doggie lumps, but on the plus side, I was able to pour another bag over the wires I laid down in the perennial box Sugar destroyed to cover the root ball of the Mystic Merlin malvacea I summered over in the pot sitting on a pine trunk stump. I still need to pour the remaining two bags into the other bed she destroyed. Maybe if it's not pouring too bad I will do that tomorrow. Rain is predicted. It was so beautiful today. I didn't even have to wear my jacket! I was also able to chunk out a little more forsythia root, but it appears that I will need something more insidious than a pick ax to get it out of the soil. More like a tractor or a chain with my truck pulling it...............

make less

I have plenty, that's for sure.................I cook each cornmeal tortilla in hot oil for seconds to get them limp, use Spanish rice-roni mix, fresh sweet onions, green chili's, tomatillo salsa verde, ground round or sirloin depending on the reduced bin at the local store (or ground pork which is even better), diced tomato's with chili's, make my own enchilada sauce with tomato paste and chili powder, garlic and cilantro, and use Monteray Jack with jalapeno's and sharp cheddar cheeses with the sauces on top of the cheeses so the melted cheese doesn't slip off. When I make the spanish rice, I sautee it in butter, but use enough butter so that I can cook the onions down first, then the rice-roni until it's golden brown. The most tedious part is the tortilla's as they have to be placed quickly into the hot oil and lifted immediately with a thin spatula and drained draped over the spat and put on a saucer until I have 38 of them stacked up. Once I get them done, it's the rice and later the meat and such. I usually have to let the mixture cool once I've folded the meat into the rice and semolina mixture.
Last night I had my kitchen hands because I was making enchilada's while the rice and meat mixture was still steaming hot, rolling them to make a rice and meat tube and laying them on their seams. (I also pour some enchilada sauce in the bottom of the pan to provide moisture and keep the tortillas from sticking). Bake at 350o until bubbly and the smell drives Squire nutzoid and he comes up from the dragon cave..........
I had so much left over I decided that Tracy and Randy deserved a little knosch from me <gBSEG> I just wish I had had more cheese. Sometimes I blend cheeses in with the rice and meat and stuff as well as putting it on top. I adore cheese. <g> And being the critical chef I am, my enchilada sauce was a little thick last night.............When this stuff bakes (I pack the enchilada's tightly in the pan, even putting some in the sides running the opposite side and use any leftover filling as topping on those) and cools off, you cut it like meatloaf almost. In fact, both of them thought it WAS meatloaf until I told them it was like a huge hunk of enchilada casserole.........You get all the food groups in one slice <G>(yeppers, even fruit, as tomato's are fruit, not vegetables!)

well co'mon then while the land in some places is still affordable. So many people are relocating here that land prices are going up, but there's still affordable places and it'll take hundreds upon thousands of people to ever fill up these hills and hollers and ridges........................
madgardener

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:-P
law
a
sound.............:)
LOL -- I know what a berm is, MG! I also know that if I were to make so obvious a move as that he'd realize I was redirecting the runoff back over to his property and start raising hell. :)

side
Heh -- find me an agent. :)

Yeah, but it's not enough yet to replace what he's taking out (what he's taken out already for that matter)

and
Thnx.
I was waiting for a good snow to come along rather than getting them down now. I didn't think they required very much cold stratification...?

one
Never a problem here -- the tree rats take care of all those for us. We have 3 or 4 fruiting trees now and the squirrels STILL manage to clean house.

was
it's
like
Well, I spent about THREE (3) hours cleaning up the front yard today. To say the least, I washed a LOT of new fertilizer into the ground. One thing that surprised me was the amount of new growth in the garden. Our Touch of Class rose not only has leaves but it has a new sucker with buds and leaves on it. The Lilacs have budded out, two other roses that were cut back to the ground have sprouted new stems and leaves, and one Lilac (a rescue) has several new stems coming up from the ground. I did not expect to see so much new growth so late in the year -- usually, nothing grows out there after about October. Testament to the mild temperatures we've been having -- cold, but not cold enough apparently!

many
still
Where?
James
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didn't mean to make you out to be ignert......sorry honey. Just never thought of the guy giving you hell if you were putting in some garden improvements...<g> I misunderstood when you said against the law or codes or something. (fuzzy minded right now, I messed up my sleep cycle for work :( If you saw how I garden sometimes, it would make more sense. :^p If I lived next to this guy, he'd look out and see me with shovel, rake, lots of pots of perennials, wheelbarrow and bags and bags of soil to add and those retaining castle rock blocks we carry at Lowes. (e-mail me sometime and I'll show you what I've done around the old BBQ pit after Squire turned it into a fountain.) which is the area that Sugar has dug unfortunately....;(

John McDonald at Real Estate 100 in Morristown, Tennessee or Dandridge, Tennessee. 865-397-9100 or Dena Helms at 423-581-8881 or 423-312-1247 John McDonald is a very honest realitor who we got our house from, and Dena is a close friend of mine who is now a real estate affiliate Broker for Re/Max Real Estate Ten, Inc. in the Morristown area near Cherokee Lake. Both are honest and would find what you personally wanted. John has a banker in his pocket.

it is sad, but some people are oblivious. I feel for you. I cried when I discovered that for the new grocery store in town they took out a whole HILL with hundreds of trees well over 150 years old, some even older than that.........just the dogwoods and tulip poplars and redbuds was enough to weep over, they numbered in the hundreds (white dogwoods) well over 30 redbuds, at least 49 tulip poplars and alot of those were huge...........they just chunked out the whole hill over a matter of weeks since Dandridge sits next to the French Broad river/Douglas Lake and houses and businesses built on narrow shelves of land and up hillsides.....

what kinda poppies? somniferium, Iceland's, Orientals, they all need to be sown in the fall so that they can winter over and germinate in spring at their leisure. Scatter them on top of the cleaned up bed, too because they're sun germinated and don't need burying.

it's surprising how much growth is going on despite the cold temperatures. I did a walk around yesterday and was blown away. It's time for me to cut back Hellebores.............but I want to wait until February.

Cocke County, Sevier County, Jefferson County, Hamblen County, Greene County and even outlying area's of north Knox county towards the northeast. (e-mail me and I'll send you a picture of what's in front of me across highway 25-70) The land southeast of me goes towards North CArolina and the Smokies. north east is Greenville, Rogersville and I love it, it's going towards the tip and along the Appalachians. Greenville is wider and has deeper valleys and highway 11 runs thru it. Jefferson County is the county I live in and that imcompasses from east of Knoxville around the area that is part of Sevierville, thru New Market, Strawberry Plains, Talbott-Kansas, White Pine, Dandridge, Hamblen is Morristown and Bybee, Cocke county is Newport and sits in the shadows of the Smokies and lies east of me off interstate 40E. Behind and around that area is Kodiak that comes up behind Gatlinburg which leads down into Pidgeon Forge and sits IN the Smokies against Cherokee National Forest. If you want, I could send you some real estate pamphlets too..........and a Sunday paper but you could also go online and see what's available too......five years ago I could have bought an acre for about $5000. Not now (not here at least) because the word is out about our property taxes, no state income tax, cost of living (but wages are good to poor depending on what your job is). A lot of regions here are self sufficient in aspect that you'd need a septic tank, well and propane tank if you like to heat and cook with gas. If you want another type of heat, the best is Heat Pumps which run electrically adn are pretty efficient and that the local company does thru pay plans, unless you go the way a lot of people are around here and buy a hunk of land, dig septic, put in well, and lay foundation for a double or triple wide modular which are better built than some houses..........

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Hey, stop messing with my get-thinner new year resolution :-)
What's rice-roni btw? I've never seen that here.
Janet
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Why, it's the San Francisco treat of course! :)
(Anybody got a trolley car handy?)
http://www.ricearoni.com /
James
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On Mon, 29 Dec 2003 12:55:45 GMT, Janet Baraclough

yer in England, right? G'ie me a holler at me e-mail addy with yer addy and I'll ship over a couple boxes.......<GBSEG> (good stuff, a thin vermachelli with a good rice, package of spices and such and viola~ a nice meal...................comes in different flavors too........... maddie
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AAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH.
G'ie me a holler at me e-mail addy with yer

I looked it up on the web address someone gave..we have all those ingredients, thanks :-) Just, separate. Like England and Scotland.
:-}
Janet (Scotland).
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no offence. Sorry. Geoff's in Dundee............I just got his yearly sweet gift of Scotish Castles calendar........please accept my sincere apologies for putting you so close to the English..........(I can hear Will'm Wallace groaning in his grave now.................) maddie
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Actually, Janet, until this post I was under the same unfortunate impression <G> I stand corrected!
--
Ann, Gardening in zone 6a
Just south of Boston, MA
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:~}
I was born in England of English and Welsh parents, brought up in England, educated in Wales, and have lived in west Scotland most of my life. I'm not Scottish by blood or birth but Scotland is the beloved country of my heart, the one I call home.
The scream was because Brits in Wales, Scotland and Ireland really dislike their very different countries to be mistaken for part of England.
Don't feel too ashamed <BG>... some English people make the same frightful error :-).
Janet. (Isle of Arran, Scotland)
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