RISE: the Risings of Yeast, and Yeats and Yeshua

I love the verb “to rise”.  It harbours such an Easter, springlike connotation.  Unless it’s used in the context of Richard trying to get a rise out of me, (which he likes to do multiple times in a day) this is also a beautiful NOUN, especially when used in conjunction with words like “Sunrise” or “Moonrise”.  Aren’t those lovely and romantic words?

sun, moon

When I stepped into the mysterious gloaming Monday night, after yet another dance rehearsal at the little New Denmark rec centre with ‘the tiara club’ (see last week’s post), the moon was just poking out over the tree line. As I drove the three miles home, the so-called “Pink Moon” (named after pink flowers called wild ground phlox, which bloom in early spring, the ‘pink moon’ is the first full moon of springtime in the Northern Hemisphere) rose very quickly in the sky, and I couldn’t take my eyes off it the whole way home. Good thing our road is so quiet there wasn’t another car on it!

We are down to less than 40 percent of the snow we’ve had all winter, now, thanks to a few good rainfalls and one day of actual double digits -with sun!  We now hear some songbirds, not just crows.  And, this morning, as I sat eating my homemade pancakes with our own fresh maple syrup from weeks of Richard’s toil’n’boil, I had to open the top of the Dutch door that Richard made last fall (see posting from Sept. 16th entitled The Dutch Door Diva, if you missed the construction of this beloved kitchen feature)  and listen to the ‘rise’ and swell of jubilant bird song in the air.

pancakes, syrup
my breakfast this morning, with top of door open to hear birds

As I bake bread, nearly every 2nd day, the word “Rise” is especially important to me. I’ve discovered that, as I’d once thought in my 20s when I used to regularly bake bread, the amount of rise is NOT as important, especially if you like to eat toast and sandwiches as we do.  You don’t have to ‘cater’ to the yeast as much as you might think, although it SHOULD be warm water it dissolves in, and a sprinkling of sugar will help excite it further! But if the bread rises TOO much over the loaf pans, you’ll not be able to cut it as easily, nor to fit it into the toaster!  Thus, I try for a good ‘first’ rise, and just a quick one after the initial punch-down.  (Of course this also depends on the amount of white/vs.wholewheat flour I’m using. This past week I ran out of white, and as Richard and I hate JUST plain whole wheat, I zested the bread up with some cardamon, parsley, thyme and oregano. I didn’t put it in a loaf pan, either, just made it in a circle on the baking sheet and let it rise a bit there. Try it, it was fabulous!)  As the sale at the rec centre last Saturday morning was my (Rustic Revivals’) first one in this province, I made a lot of Easter-oriented and spring items. And one of the ones of which I’m most proud is the following cushion which I stitched by hand from a flour sack. I  then stencilled a double meaning on to the thick linen, so that it could be for general use, or as a special Easter gift.  It didn’t sell at the sale, so I can enjoy it further, I guess.

rise1

For readers in Ontario, there is a wonderful group around the Toronto area called “R.I.S.E.” which a few theatre-grad friends of mine have volunteered with in the past:  “Reaching Intelligent Souls Everywhere (RISE) is a community led by youth, comprised of artists, activists, free-thinkers and revolutionaries. Together, they help to create a safe and welcoming platform for self-expression and healing through the performance arts.” This is, of course, ‘right up my alley’ – but since I’m now living out here in ‘boonesville’, where my heart is, I am trying to do what I can.  As discussed last week when revealing the small amount of young people’s performance art (ie: “The Tiara Club”) that I’m working with here in this small rural community, the sense of being close to nature and the “rustique” of our agricultural history is important here, and that’s one of the things I love about being in the mountains.  Local photographer Tiffany Christensen blends my two passions frequently in her work.  Nature and Rustic. Love it!

As presented in last week’s blog …”Purty Pals and Gingham Gals”, Tiffany will ‘rise’ to any occasion and is being especially helpful as we move forward to the Founder’s Day celebrations this year here in this peaceful valley.  And her last name, while being both indicative of the many Danish names in the community AND the true meaning of Easter is a happy circumstance at the time of this writing.  “Risen” is even there in her name!

risen

The above is the 3rd tobacco slat cross I’ve made from the weathered sticks I was offered from my Ontario cousins, Pete and Linda Baxter, when they were moving from their own farm.  I am so pleased Richard agreed to let me bring so much of this wood with us out here, and two of these crosses have now fittingly, I think, gone to Reverend Diane of Carlisle, ON and Pastor Ralph, of New Denmark, N.B.

Of course when you mention “Easter” and “Rise” in the same sentence, it isn’t always a positive thing. Christ died for our sins, true, and then rose to live forever in us, for us.  But sometimes, sadly, it is just about death. Period.  As we do not have television here, we enjoy a wonderful BBC feed through various online sources, which we then project to Richard’s large screen.   One of my favourite British serials is Lark RISE to Candleford.  If you haven’t seen it, but are a fan of period costume drama, find a way to view the whole series.  (available at many libraries, and also, in part, online – or you could buy the box set!) However, I have recently become enamored with the u.k. version (original one!) of “Who Do You Think You Are”?  I do NOT consider this a ‘reality show’, so please don’t suggest it is! I find it a stimulating way to learn history.  Watching it  led to the revealing of several of our favourite Irish performers’ ancestors such as Brendan O’Carroll (the hilarious Mrs. Brown of ‘Mrs. Brown’s Boys) being involved in the Easter Risings of 1916, and I was thus motivated to read and study more about that particular unrest.  Yeats’ poem “Easter: 1916” ends so solemnly, despite the green of  the Emerald Isle and the new spring:  “Now and in time to be, Wherever green is worn, Are changed, changed utterly:  A terrible beauty is born”.

Then, this week of course was yet another 100th anniversary – that of Vimy Ridge, which also took place originally over Easter weekend.  Mom/Joy was especially interested in this as her great-uncle died there, and I was pleased that CBC did a live stream which she could also enjoy from her laptop computer.  So, Easter is about rising, but also about the fallen.   However,  just as the Canadians were important ‘rising’ to the top of Vimy Ridge a century ago, so are our Canadians poignant in their passion for standing up for what is right in all things crucial to the survival of man-kind:

(Rise up, Rise up) Oh rise and show your power,
(Rise up, Rise up) We're dancing into the sun
(Rise up, Rise up) It's time for celebration
(Rise up, Rise up) Spirits' time has come...
...Talkin 'bout the right time to be workin' for peace,
Wantin' all the tension in the world to ease.
                            - by Canadian band, Parachute Club

 I love those lyrics, and while I’ve hardly been considered a pop-music fan, the late 1970s and early 1980s WERE about the only time when I listened to such music. Those words have always stayed with me (as well as the ‘catchy’ tune to which they were sung).  And now that Trumpty Dumbty is tumbling from his wall, I believe we must indeed work harder than ever for peace.  And, as spring is here, we must ‘dance into the sun’, as it’s ‘time for celebration’.  I tried hard, at my Rustic Revivals’ booth last week, to make a ‘new’ and ‘springlike’ impression:
booth,table, 2017, n.b.

I put more colour (light pastels) into my pieces than ever before, and tried to think of inspirational/springlike words for salvaged pieces of wood (‘dream’ is painted on an old dove-tailed drawer-piece, and the rusty flower on the ‘bloom’ sign is an old car part I found along the side of the road and banged into that shape).

As for the Easter wreath (bottom left of the ‘booth’ pic above), as well as having a barnboard cross on it, I also added some pastel colour with some recycled craft pieces (ie: bird’s nest with ‘eggs’, sign with ‘hope’ and some baby chicks, etc) .  Furthermore, I also did several pieces in actual COLOUR (totally new to the Rustic Revivals’ precedent!)

colour signs

The only colour I could say I’ve really put on to any project before now was my salvage art LOVE sign, which I’ve always thought was fun:

LOVE turq.

And I’m especially proud of the ‘new’ spindle and finial ornaments (candle holders glued together from pieces given me by former choir mate, Ron, so thus ‘salvaged’, though he bought them new for his own projects and never used them).  They again make me think of ‘rise’, as I’ve had to glue both the ornaments and the candleholders into twos and threes to make them higher, before painting them with the two colours necessary for ‘crackling’ and distressing. (You need an acrylic undercoat, usually darker, then the ‘crackle’ mix, which you CAN make yourself, before adding the final coat.) These add that pastel colour to the spring line, pastels of course replicating the colours of spring flowers and birds’ eggs in nests.

Did any Rustic Revivals’ followers ever think they’d see so much colour mixed in to my shabby chic and primitive concepts?  (The rusty hearts were cut from old rusty paint can lids found on this very farm!)  But it IS spring!

And speaking of birds, bird song, and bird houses/nests, I did several of them as well, and the primitive ‘willow’ tree did sell, though not the others, I was sorry to say. Especially since Richard put so much effort into the design and building of these two wonderful houses, also made from my Baxter cousins’ barnboard.

And, we couldn’t really have an Easter show without SOME semblance of bunnies, chicks and lambs, so here they are:

While all of the above are made entirely from salvage items, scraps or from nature itself, I AM proud that they are newly-made or upcycled for this year’s ‘spring’, despite having many other spring items (even MADE from rusty springs from a sleigh’s old seat, for instance!) and including fishing and canoeing-themed items, gardening items, etc.  All ‘springy’.  But, when examining again the true meaning of Easter, I was happy to put a little folk-art New Denmark scene with the two landmark churches on top of the next hill-top.  Both churches have crosses on top of them in real life, and both have them painted on as well. This was done on a small cutting board of Mom/Joy’s that she wanted to dispose of.  This is only half the board:

close-up, n.d. folk art

This scene depicts the ploughing, planting and cheerful green-growth that happens around the farms in the early spring.  As you  may have read in my post “Blue Belldon Basement Grow Op.” several weeks ago, things were planted down there that are now beginning to ‘rise’ as well!

sprouts, 2017

And also, chosen to add cheeriness to my kitchen window, and almost perpetually NOT blooming, even my red geranium has decided to ‘rise’ to the occasion of SPRING!

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Thus, as my father used to joyously quote (in an Ogden Nash burst of silliness, though it is NOT written by that poet) :

"Spring is Sprung,
The grass is RIZ -
I wonder where 
The birdies is? "             

or, of a less silly subject matter, is George Herbert's "Easter".

Easter –

Rise heart: thy Lord is risen. Sing his praise
Without delayes,
Who takes thee by the hand, that thou likewise
With him mayst rise:
That, as his death calcined thee to dust,
His life may make thee gold, and much more just.

Awake, my lute, and struggle for thy part
With all thy art.
The crosse taught all wood to resound his name,
Who bore the same.
His stretched sinews taught all strings, what key
Is best to celebrate this most high day.

Consort both heart and lute, and twist a song
Pleasant and long:
Or since all music is but three parts vied
And multiplied;
O let thy blessed Spirit bear a part,
And make up our defects with his sweet art.

I got me flowers to straw thy way;
I got me boughs off many a tree:
But thou wast up by break of day,
And brought’st thy sweets along with thee.

The sunne arising in the East,
Though he give light, & th’East perfume;
If they should offer to contest
With thy arising, they presume.

Can there be any day but this,
Though many sunnes to shine endeavour?
We count three hundred, but we misse:
There is but one, and that one ever.

A coffee can I decorated for Spring, with neighbours’ hydrangea flowers dried inside. To left are two of the tobacco slat crosses and two right, another popular cross around here – the New Denmark flag painted on a light switch plate.  Both left and right sold, the coffee can remains as 1 in a set of Primitive Three.  HAPPY EASTER!

coffeeecan

One of six shabby chic frames I distressed and crackled for the Easter show. Some are peg-boards with chicken wire, but sold two of these blackboards.  Happy Easter!  R I S E  !!!!

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Fiddleheads and Pitchforks

My mother does not approve of swearing. Of even the most mild sort.  My sister and I were not even allowed to say ‘shut up’ to each other without being sharply reprimanded.  When my father used to say “what the hell?” in absent-minded consternation over some project he was attempting to repair, she would quickly remind him with his name or an exclamation of shock, that our young, innocent ears were in the vicinity. One of my very earliest memories when I was about 6 and my sister 4, was when we collected our first trial instruments from the London Suzuki Institute, Jennifer’s being the instrument she still plays hours daily as her profession and passion, and mine being the instrument I finally sold to help fund my own profession and passion.4

 

As my mother, who had had to take a few lessons on each instrument first just so that she could help us at home, was attempting to make a sound from Jennifer’s strings (in front of both sets of grandparents, I might add, who were most interested in these new additions to the family) she became exasperated because no sound was emanating, and in her frustration she said her “F-word”:  “Oh, FIDDLESTICKS!”  without realizing how incredibly apt and timely this choice of ‘swear word’ actually was.  (Although we laughed at her, it became even MORE apt when we realized the problem was in fact to do with the bow, or ‘fiddlestick’  – she had forgotten to resin it!)

Richard’s sons both took violin lessons for a while too, and we still have each of their instruments at Blue Belldon Farm, for some reason, but of course I’ve never owned another ‘cello  (“violincello” is its proper name; thus the apostrophe in front of it each time is technically correct) since I was 18 and sold it to buy my first proper showjumper.  Our father always got a kick out of saying that Jennifer was busy ‘FIDDLIN’ AROUND’ whilst I was outside just “HORSIN’ AROUND’.   But the daily reminders of ‘fiddling’ are everywhere around us.  As mentioned last week, the New Denmark ‘Music Ranch’ has a country band every Saturday night with Atlantic-based expert ‘fiddlers’ (although having been brought up on ‘proper classical music’ and the term ‘violin’,  Mom and I don’t quite have the appreciation that we should have for the fast ‘fiddling’ that is a tradition in these Eastern provinces.)

But as soon as I came here last spring I began seeing and hearing the word ‘fiddle’ in another sense.  Fiddleheads are everywhere!   Plaster Rock, one of our nearest towns, is the Fiddlehead Capital of Canada, and being that our goal is to live self-sufficiently here, Mom/Joy gave us a book called Edible Plants of Atlantic Canada.  The chapter that takes up the most pages is all about the picking and cooking of fiddleheads.  They are highly celebrated here and other than the World Pond Hockey which was mentioned in last week’s blog, they are a main attraction to the area:

Fiddleheads are one of the first signs of spring, and since we had a bit of a thaw last week, and actually see some grass blades emerging in the Birch Grove and under the apple trees where the ground is slightly warmer because of the tree roots, we are perhaps prematurely, already getting excited about harvesting these delightful delicacies. Fiddleheads are essentially ferns before they become ferns. They are the furled up stage of a fern when they just start to shoot through the ground in early spring.  As they emerge through the fertile, wet April soil, they grow and unfurl quickly, sometimes lasting just a few days in their furled-up stage.

Though all ferns have a fiddlehead stage, it’s the Ostrich fern that is most commonly eaten, and it tastes, when boiled and then sauteed in butter, very much like a combination between broccoli and asparagus. In the farmers’ markets, where they will only be sold for about 10 days, they can be quite pricey, so we definitely will be hunting the marshes and swamps for them ourselves!

Fiddleheads grow prolifically throughout the damp areas of the Eastern Seaboard. Though they are not hard to find, people tend to keep their locations secret so they will not be over -harvested.  Scary thing, though.   Some fiddleheads look like the Ostrich fern varieties and are not only not edible but can be toxic. So, just as I didn’t attempt to harvest the multitude of wonderful-looking mushrooms that sprouted all over our lawn last autumn, I am tentative about this process also.

 

In the book Mom gave us as a Christmas present, it mentions an interesting bit of folk lore: it was once believed that to eat fiddleheads would make one invisible! (Kind of ironic, given that the old Polaroid above DOES make us look nearly so!)  Shakespeare even refers to this in Henry IV, Part 1  when he writes “We have the receipt of fern-seed; we walk invisible”. The “fern-seed” superstition pops up again in “The Fair Maid of the Inn,” a  17th century comedy by John Fletcher, et al., as well as in Ben Jonson’s “The New Inn.”  A wonderfully-named fiddlehead cookbook ,  “Fiddleheads and Fairies”, by Nannette Richford, includes many references to the mysticism behind these succulent tasties.

A neighbour recently gave us a frozen bag of them to try. (Herein is a humourous example of rural life, especially among the proud Danish community.  This lady’s husband was ill, so I made some extra chicken and vegetable soup for them, and sent it over in a thermos with Richard. He came back with home-baked coffeecake, a bar of marzipan and the aforementioned bag of frozen greens!)  We ate them immediately for lunch, boiling for about 6 minutes as directed (just in case there are any dangerous toxins left in them!) and then frying with some butter and a touch of salt.  Absolutely delicious!

I put a walnut in the one photo, to show you the size of them before cooking (although they don’t actually shrink in size as do so many vegetables, as you can see when put out on the plate at right.

That day must have had violins and decorative scrolls in the vibrational airways, because in the afternoon, in our Scrabble game, I could have TWICE put down variations of the word ‘violin’ (although nothing on the board ever did lend itself to my doing so!) And once while I was waiting the half-hour or so that is standard for Richard to take his bloody turn, I looked over to where one of his boys’ old violins (out of their cases to get humidity from our humidifier) was laid out near my beautiful hand-made butter dish by Ontario potter Natalie (from Remembrances Pottery , a friend who worked hard to make the Carlisle Country Craft and Old-fashioned Market Mercantile a success :   https://www.etsy.com/shop/RemembrancesPottery )  How beautiful these ‘scrolls’ look side-by-side!  And you can certainly see where the “Fiddlehead” delicacy gets its name!

 

Richard went to meet his brother where he lives in Saint John this past week, and they had a flying trip down to Cape Cod to look at some car parts his brother wanted.  Richard noticed that the fiddlehead is a symbol of beauty throughout the province, as this sculpture in the city centre is a popular photo for tourists year-round as well .  (That’s right, neither Saint John nor Boston/Cape Cod have snow anymore!)

220px-fiddlehead_saint_john

So yes, while we’ve enjoyed the respite of the winter months to recuperate from the struggles of the big move out here, on top of the arduous efforts to plant, tend, harvest  and preserve both garden and orchard, we ARE looking forward to spring! Mom/Joy is even more anxious than we are for it, as she just returned from her two weeks in Florida with her Aunt Jane, and was none-too-pleased to see those 8 foot banks of snow still along our back roads and caked on the cliff walls as we climbed up Lucy’s Gulch!    She had brought back for us a T-shirt each with a happy stick figure on a lawn tractor, and this has definitely got Richard chomping the bit in anticipation of the first time he can fire up the ole John Deere.

 

It was his idea to wear the shirts with the snow outside the window in the background.  The irony is actually a bit sad at this point, however!  We harken back to last spring, the week before I moved out here, when my friend Leanne was visiting from Scotland.   She’s coming again this summer, and Richard has promised her another try on the lawn tractor. (Although she’s a good ole country girl as well, who grew up on the 25,000 acre estate on which I worked with her in Aberdeenshire, in 2009, she had never had the opportunity to cut grass on a tractor, as all the bigger jobs on the estate were naturally done by the team of maintenance staff and groundskeepers! So she put up with the long-winded professorial lectures from my dear counterpart, and endured his shouting when her ‘track’ wasn’t perfectly aligned, or when she didn’t raise the mower at the right moment, and apparently she’s coming back for more of the same – only on the sides of mountainous hillsides this time!)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI look back now on this dreadful Ontario ‘flatness’, and just think how blissfully happy we are to be here,  with our stellar and breath-taking views, away from the busy roads, (I remember waiting to snap the above shot so I  could catch the moment with no cars whizzing by on the highway!) the pollution, the noise…  But I DO miss being able to be out in the garden already, as I know some of you in Ontario are doing!  My friend Anne in Carlisle thought it hilarious to send me the following. The chick is even wearing my hat and peasant skirt here!

gardening-snow

That’s about the size of it here, too. We are desperate to get turning over some ground with the pitchfork and rototiller!  Remember last spring, when I posted this cartoon, where Richard thought he was made to look old but I thought I looked JUST like the female graphic?

image

Well, I told him I wouldn’t do anymore ‘devilish’ comics with pitchforks in hand this year.  So instead, I have done an artists’ rendering of the Canadian Gothic, complete with live-in mother:

cangoth2

And I even have the artist, in fields of gorgeous green, painting it on his canvas!

artist-painting-cangoth

Surely Pippi can’t complain about this, as it’s his actual FACE?  Anyway, the pitchfork is representative, not just of the devil and devilish qualities, but is of course exactly what it stands for – the act of ‘pitching something to the side’.  So, although my mother detests  swearing of any kind, and although my old  co-“Katima-victim” Dave Landry taught me that “Fiddlesticks” is not the REAL “F-word”, I have taken it upon myself to tell winter to go

 

 

image

And stay tuned for next week, when we WILL begin planting, whether or not there is still snow out there (and there will be!).   We ordered all our seeds yesterday (organic, with biodegradable packaging, from the same company as last year – Hawthorne Farm in Ontario), and Richard has made most of the seeding tables for our basement greenhouse.  All that remains is to drive over the ‘wall’to Trumpty Dumbty-land, where we can buy flourescent lights much more cheaply than here, sadly, get them hung, get the earth into the tables, and voila!  Seeds will be going in for our whole next year’s quality smorgasbording ! It’s nearly time!  Dirt under the (non-existent) fingernails again! Wahoooooooooo!

June is Bustin’, at Blue Belldon

 

 

10 min Heaven
With  organic gardening in the morning and renos. all afternoon and into the evening, not to mention just regular household and animal chores, I only allow myself 10 minutes a day or so to collapse into the hammock, hung beneath the apple blossoms (truly Anne Shirley’s “White Way of Delight” here!) . But boy, what inspiration and motivation from those 10 minutes, delighting in the surrounding Appalachians springing alive with chirping song -birds, distant tractors across the valley, bees buzzing among the blossoms, and, in the evenings I take another 10 before bed and listen to the valley orchestra of spring peepers. Heaven!

 

 

When there’s planting to do, in the veg patch  but, but…

How about a wildflower trail

That winds down to grass uncut?

Or  how about some kitchen drawers that now grow herbs –

Call me a nut?

Why, yes, yes, of course I am – but the kind that worships birds and bees

And every whisper through the trees

That say “I’m glad to be alive

In a world where bees still rule their hive”

And I grow organic cilantro, balm and chive…

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A Salvage Artist never throws anything out. These kitchen cupboard doors and drawers are now an herb garden  right outside the kitchen door (soon to be a Dutch/stable door, thank you Richard!   Still working on making them look attractive, but I was excited to see today that the borage and cilantro are already sprouting up in neat little rows!  And many of the herbs and wildflowers I’m planting are PURELY to encourage the bees to pollinate, although the amount of them buzzing among the apple blossoms and dandelions suggest to me that they are off to a good start!

 

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First Planting – the Christmas tree!

live tree

No one expects you to go and buy SOLELY organic foods (or even locally-grown, never mind nationally-grown!) in your grocery store. It’s just too expensive in the case of the former, and too hard to find in the case of the latter – but did you realize that with just a tiny back-yard (or even on a balcony in an apartment building ) you can be growing many of your own fruits and veg?  !    So much healthier, AND cheaper, in the long run!   And the more we plant that BLOSSOMS and BLOOMS the better the chances of saving the bees. Because, folks, in case you haven’t heard – if they go, we all go! SO, BEE ORGANIC ! You don’t need money, talent, or even a lot of time to get G R O W I N G  !

Every year at this time, we all start to get excited about another growing season – but something that should have been in the ground even before now was our live Christmas tree.  You don’t need to- and shouldn’t- wait until spring for this, if possible.  Our little tree served many purposes this year: tree with lights shining both in and outside, presents on the table all around its base… then, after the presents were unwrapped – a lovely colour-coordinated table centrepiece ! Now, because of our move to New Brunswick, this little gem is going to my friend Anne’s farm and will hopefully grow big and strong for decades to come… Here are some of the tips for planting your live tree – some are from me, some from various authors at old wiki…

Readjust the tree to outdoor temperatures after the holidays, by placing it back on the sheltered porch or in the garage for several days. It is important to plant your tree as soon as possible after the holidays. Do not wait until spring. Select a planting site that has well-drained soil, full sun and that is appropriate for the mature tree’s size

Plant the tree and make sure that the hole is the same depth but at least twice and preferably five times wider than the root ball. Be sure not to plant the tree too deeply. Do not over prepare the back fill with organic matter. If the soil is fertile and well-drained, amendments should not be needed.

Place the soil on a tarp, in a basket, etc. Store this in a warm place until you are ready to use it. If you are going to stake the tree, be sure to place the stakes in the ground before the ground freezes. Stakes should be removed in the spring.

Remove the synthetic burlap completely since it can cause root girdling. Remove natural burlap from the top of the root ball, to avoid drying out the root ball.

Remove containers from container-grown trees and cut and loosen any encircling roots. Remove at least the top portion of wire tree baskets after the root ball is in the planting hole.

Fill the hole around the freshly set tree with the loosened, unamended soil from the planting hole. Backfill around the root ball in stages, gently firming in each layer of soil. Water well to settle the soil and eliminate air pockets. Apply 2 or 3 inches (5.1 or 7.6 cm) of mulch on top of the root ball. It is not necessary to fertilize until spring.

When you get ready to plant your tree, be sure it is planted at the same depth it was grown at the nursery. After putting the tree in the hole, remove any plastic and burlap. If the tree was container-grown, be sure to loosen outside roots and prune broken roots. Also redirect roots, which wrap around the soil mix so they will grow out away from the tree. Fill in the hole with the soil you have stored and heel it in firmly. Use any remaining soil to build a ridge three to four inches high around the outside edge of the soil ball. This “bowl” will help you insure that all of the roots are watered properly. Remove this ridge of soil in the spring. Now mulch it with two to three inches of a good mulch. Keep the tree watered during HOT weather periods until it has ‘taken’.