Now that we are no longer beeless and Michigan spring is truly upon us (although frost is not out of the question) it is time for one of those tedious inventories of our various plantings. We begin with the joyful observation that, three bloom-less years after planting, the quince tree has a great many rosy buds. We can hardly wait to see our bees on the coming blooms. And then dare we hope for a small crop to poach?
By contrast the apple trees are disappointing with one mere blossom on the Fuji and none at all on the Calville Blanc d’Hiver. All three of these are getting large enough that we ought to remove their protective cages while we can still somewhat easily lift them off.
Among the Asian pears our Shinseiki, having survived the winter, is leafing out nicely while the recently replaced Hosui, the original having died during winter, has finally grown tired of its pretense of being a stick and its lone green bud has developed into a few wee leaflets. Unfortunately a tiny green caterpillar reduced their number before we crushed it.
The bush cherries happily survived being transplanted and some of them finally bloomed for the first time. Alas our bees did not get here in time to take advantage. Nevertheless we see fruit forming on two of the shrubs, one riper than the other in spite of all getting the same amount of sun. With so small a crop the birds are sure to get them all. Not that we mind too much.
The mulberry has not yet leafed out but the green buds promise it shall. We seem to have neglected to mention that our first mulberry, Wellington, did not make it through its first winter and was replaced by the current Oscar.
The lindens are both looking good although the tupelo seems to have died. The tiny remnant of the shortened-by-nibbling, more-twig-than-tree locust has sprouted greenish growths and, as Granny Weatherwax might say, aten’t dead yet. Sadly the same can not be said of the even tinier and much more shortened-by-nibbling bee bee tree. It is now a been been.