Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Trees and Turkeys... Oh Deer

The new sidewalk has been poured, the garage floor has been poured, the driveway is almost all poured and the first of our landscaping efforts has taken place. We got our trees planted in the front yard. From right to left is our expensive serviceberry tree which got us the free installation, northstar sour cherry, red delicious apple and mcintosh apple. Hopefully someday they will provide a screen from oncoming traffic coming up the hill as well as fruit and pretty blooms in the springtime.

I took this and the remaining pictures one Sunday morning when it seemed like the wildlife was bumping into each other using our backyard as their expressway. This was one of the does on the lookout for her yearling fawn who was grazing contentedly nearby.

This year we have seen a flock of turkeys almost all summer long on a daily basis. It comprises of four or five females and about twenty young turkeys who are almost adults at this point. They make their way across our yard pecking up bugs and things. The young turkeys even play a bit chasing and attacking each other.

They always stretch out in a line forty or fifty feet long which makes getting a good picture of them hard. If I go for getting numbers in a single frame, they are far off and not impressive. If I zoom in to get a good look, I don't get the numbers. I got a compromise shot here where I got quite a few as they bunched up on their hike across my yard. Down at the far end of the ridge, my neighbor who lives there is a well known photographer in this area and he also photographs this same flock of turkeys. Between myself and my neighbor, these turkeys probably think we are the paparazzi.

The day after posting the first picture, the very same day I took the picture of the deer and the turkeys, they made me wish I had shot them with a gun instead of camera. Before I could get my fencing up, they trimmed my three fruit trees severely. I'm not sure if they will live but I'm hoping that they still have enough to root out before going dormant and then next spring, they will leave out. When I noticed this I was sick in my stomach. Had I not has a party going on Saturday afternoon and evening, I should have installed the fence then. Sunday afternoon I could have spent the time fencing instead of taking my oldest to see a movie she had been pining for a month to see. I didn't. I kept telling myself that all the deer use the backyard and wouldn't see these trees in the front yard. I was wrong and I paid the price. The only bit of good news was that they didn't touch the expensive service berry tree. All they ate were the cheap(er) fruit trees. I guess they filled up too much on them before they got to the service berry tree.


edifice rex said...

The new concrete looks great! The deer have been bad around here this year, eating down several of my hydrangeas, which they normally don't bother. It's cool you get to see so many turkeys. We have a lot here but you rarely ever see them. They are very shy for some reason.

Ed said...

Edifice Rex - I was happy with hiring it out. The fellow I got was very picky about doing things and wasn't concerned so much with getting things done as fast as possible. Had I the tools, probably the only thing I would have done differently myself would have been to use rerod standoffs instead of just manually pulling the rerod up to the middle of the concrete as it was poured.

The deer here are as thick as thieves. They munched our old flower bed down on a frequent basis. We are hoping when we get done landscaping the new beds, that we get stuff that can get munched on a still survive. I do think my wife is planting several hydrangeas though...

I rarely saw turkeys until we moved to this place and now I see them several times a week as they walk across the bottom of our property. It has been neat to see the young ones grow up. It would be even neater if I was more of a hunter and got one of them for the Thanksgiving table but I'll settle for watching them while I eat a store bought bird.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't worry about the trees. The very best thing you can do when you plant trees is to prune very hard. Any horticulturalist/forester when planting his own trees would cut back hard. It's only when planting fora client he'd leave the branches 'as is'. The squeaks of a client seeing his/her expensive trees butchered is something you'd not want to hear twice, nor do you want to give the two hour lecture on arboricultural husbandry. Just get a good secateurs of the scissors type and trim back to an outward facing bud on any branch that has a tear.
Oh the horticultural reason you prune hard is to allow/force the root the chance to establish. All pruned trees will overtake un-pruned ones within three years. So in that line (if you've not got dwarf stock) the deer pruned trees will overtake the decorative one and eventually kill it off (not that that will bother you. You'll long be pushing up daises by then).

warren said...

Deer are a scourge on our fruit trees also...we fight them and I have all of mine behind an electric fence. I finally got it high enough I think so I have reduced the number of problems, but they are amazing what they can do to get at fruit trees!