Sunday, October 19, 2008


One of the most "instantly" satisfying jobs we did this fall was plant a cedar hedge that runs along the side of our driveway. We had a mixed bag of trees here, and none of them did a good job as a wind break, and they would never grow so full as to hide our neighbour and give us privacy. We cut down the existing trees, not without regrets, because cutting down mature trees goes against my philosophy, but really, we were dealing with a bad mix of trees. Some were sick and some were damaged because they were too wide for the farm equipment that goes by to plant or harvest. Eric hauled off at least three hay-trailers worth of branches which our municipality shreds for wood chips, and we dug up endless roots until we were satisfied with our base.

We found our trees at a local cedar farm. This plantation is almost exclusively devoted to cedars, and we were impressed with their quality and price. I put my vote down for 4 foot trees as a money saving option, Eric put his vote in for 5 foot trees, and in the end, the owner of the tree farm dug up 6 foot trees, so we ended up with an "insta-hedge" that will cover the fence completely by next year. We planted them just under the suggested cut-off for our area. We are in a zone 5 planting area, and we had about a 2 week window in which to get them into the ground with the hopes they will establish properly before heavy frost and winter hits. This way, we can expect one foot of growth next season, as opposed to 6" had we planted them in the spring.

We visited the farm on a Thursday afternoon, and by Friday evening, we had our trees delivered. We spent the entire weekend cutting trees and digging up roots, and Eric got the enviable task of humping the trees into place. Even with a front loader to carry the trees, and a back-hoe to dig the hole, some lucky bugger needs to place the trees into said hole. Eric won by default - I couldn't even move one tree on my own. Not only was the root ball huge, it was heavy and cumbersome. We ate a lot of dirt that weekend. I was the lucky soul who got to kneel down beside the hole and pull the burlap wrapping off the root-ball while Eric lifted the trees.

Somehow we always end up with the Peanut Gallery looking on: Cooper is always the foreman, nothing gets done without him diligently watching, and Howard and Bobcat are never far behind either. Howard made himself comfortable on the burlap the roots were wrapped in. Every so often, he would pounce after a leaf, or dig his claws into a corner of the burlap, his back legs pedalling furiously against some invisible predator. Howard is still young and has tendencies, like all young cats do, to fits of hysterical play-time.

All said and done, we are glad that the eye-sore that was our hedge is no longer, and that we can look forward to a full green hedge by next summer.

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