Our little pine plantation foray on our last visit to Roundrock also surprised us with a discovery. This little pine was growing amidst the tall grass, apparently overlooked by us all season.
We planted (and replanted) the pines in a grid there in the good soil of the former Blackberry Corner (they’re still trying to retake the corner), so it has been easy to find where some of the pines have simply not survived because there is a gap in the grid. We found this pine in one of the gaps. This was a happy surprise since it meant that our efforts are still bearing fruit, so to speak. Forsaken in the tall weeds, we didn’t realize the good news that was busy growing there.
(Actually, I think we may have found it before and forgotten that we had. We only wandered over to this part of the tall grass because the two almost-comfy chairs were set there. In fact, they were arranged around the little pine, along with the bit of fencing, in a way that implied we were trying to protect it. So I think we may have found it once before as well.)
There are game paths pushed through the tall grass among the pines, so I know the foraging deer pass through here, but I think this pine has managed to survive the predations of the hungry deer (or whatever it is that objects to pine trees) simply by being lost in the tall grass. Nonetheless, I intend to cut a few posts of cedars and put a fence around this pine as well.
Among the many things we talked about when my many neighbors visited us was the planting of pine trees. Good Neighbor Tom told me that he and his brother had planted “hundreds” of pines on their land only to find that all of them died, were pulled up, or were eaten. I know that Good Neighbor Randy had lined the road to his father’s place with dozens of pines, none of which can be found today. #1 Son and I walked randomly through our woods one time, planting pines wherever we cold find enuf soil to plunk them down, and I have never been able to find one of them since. The pines in the plantation are different, mostly because we have taken such extensive (and expensive) efforts at protecting them. I hope in a few more years we’ll be able to free them from their cages (the big ones anyway), but there is no rush to do that.
It makes me wonder how the great cathedral stands of pines that you can find on ridgetops throughout the Midwest, built as windbreaks by WPA workers, ever survived long enuf to get so big.
- Black gum, bittersweet and dogwood show fall color.