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Catalpa Tree - October 2019 Tree Inventory

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Yesterday, I posted a photo of the large Oak tree that we use for our tree swing and today, I'm posting another larger tree in our yard that is pre-losing its leaves:  one of our Catalpa trees.  We have four of them and there are actually three in this photo.  The large one in the middle of course coupled with a Walnut tree on the left that has lost all of its leaves already.  But, tucked on in on either side of the Walnut tree?  A pair of small Catalpa trees:


You may or may not know Catalpa trees, as I didn't either until we moved in and inherited these.  They're a pretty unique tree because they are considered what I would call an 'All of the above' tree.  That means they're a shade tree.  And a flowering tree.  And an ornamental tree. 

They flower in the late Spring and have beans in the Fall.  And the leaves are H-U-G-E.  I like a lot about these trees, but I don't think that I've ever come across them in the nursery. They're native, so you wil…

Large Oak Tree Canopy - October 2019 Inventory

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Last Summer, I documented the 'mighty' Oak Tree that we inherited in our backyard here on the blog in June.  As we're moving to late October, I wanted to post here the view - looking northeast - of the same tree and canopy before it drops all of its leaves.  This was a Mast Year and it dropped thousands of acorns, but like always, the leaves are clinging on to "fall" what seems to be the last leaves in the yard every year.

There's no way to know how old this tree is, but I know we lop'd off some limbs before we built and opened up the tree a bit.  That means that this year, we saw quite a bit of growth on the large limbs to 'puff them up' a bit with new branches/leaf clumps.  The tips grew just fine, but that exposure of new parts of the central limbs has allowed the tree to fatten up a bit more this season.

ANA Star Wars BB-8 Livery at O'Hare Airport (Boeing 767-300)

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I was sitting at the gate in my American Airlines plane waiting to back away when this ANA plane taxi'ed by our gate.  ANA is a Japanese carrier that is doing a "Star Wars Project" as they call it.  I've flown a few times to Japan (Narita), but I've only flown either United or JAL.  This BB-8 livery is one of three in the Star Wars fleet:  they also have a R2-D2 and C-3PO versions.

If you're interested in seeing it, the fine folks at Flight Radar 24 have provided this tracking link:  Follow the BB-8 777-300ER with registration JA789A.

For you #AvGeeks, the BB-8 livery is on a Boeing 767-300.  This plane is awfully cute - but I think it is pretty clear: the C-3PO livery is the *best* one of the three, right? 

Check out the release on the ANA Star Wars site here for full details including the cabin details that match the livery:

Here's (below) another look at the BB-8 Boeing 767-300 that I spotted at O'hare earlier this month:


This isn't the only - …

Sunday Fertilizer Lawn Nitrogen Burning - Large Yard Beta Test Update

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A couple of weeks ago, I posted the details of how I was participating in the Get Sunday Large Yard Beta Test for fertilizer.  They shipped me a couple of bags of granular product and a large hopper Chapin broadcast spreader.  In that post, I disclosed that I wasn't thrilled with the Chapin spreader - and put down too much of the product in the location I was loading.  From that post:
I ended up spreading a little bit too much in one spot. The spreader had a little malfunction (operator error??) so when I was filling it the first time, I ended up dropping A LOT of the product in one place. This Sunday GrowGreen product isn't billed as 'non-burning', so I'm assuming that I'm going to get a big burn spot. I did my best to get as much of the product out of the one spot - first by hand. Then with my blower. Then I watered the heck out of the area to try to saturate the turf with water in a hope that watering it down would do something? We'll see what hap…

Red Maple Sun Valley Maple Update - Fall 2019

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Our little Red Maple Sun Valley Maple Tree in the far back of our yard is putting on a little bit of a Fall show right now.  As the name implies, it is *supposed* to be a lovely red show.  Like this.  Ours isn't, ummm, red.  But it *is* yellow.  And that's what happened last year, too.  Here's a post from early November that shows the tree in early Fall and then during its yellow phase

This Maple tree was planted on Earth Day in 2018 and was a tiny little thing.  It has since grown up a bit - both in height and caliper. 

In the [tree inventory] of 2018, it topped out at 96" in June of 2018.
This year's [tree inventory], showed it had gained 12" and is now 108" tall

This is a tree planted not for today, but for the long term. (Remember..."He who plants Oaks Maples, looks forward to future ages...") It is a tree that is for 20 years from now and one that we planted in the rear part of the yard because we know that one day, the giant Walnut tr…

Rear Foundation Boxwoods - Fall 2019 Update

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Above is a look at the four boxwoods that are planted right outside of our Kitchen windows next to the foundation.  I last posted a photo of these four shrubs back in April of this year when I was taking off the Winter Burn from them and shaping them a little bit.   They've really grown quite a bit and green'd up on their tips in a nice way.

A lot of boxwoods in our neighborhood took hard hits from Winter Burn this past Winter - including a few of ours in front - but these seem to have totally recovered nicely.  The two in front are now larger than the two in back.  I was initially thinking of clipping these into nicely shaped orbs, but now that I've seen the Jacques Wirtz-inspired hedge of boxwoods outside of the Fedex World Headquarters, I'm thinking I can grow these together and make a more cloud-like shape out of all four of them. 

The other thing to note in this [Garden Diary] post is the other plant in the photo.  No...it isn't a weed.  Well, not a weed in t…

Fall Lawn Spraying - Creeping Charlie - 2019

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This is the first season that I've really paid a lot of attention to the lawn in any sort of meaningful way.  I've posted about it all year, but normally, I just dealt with the length of the grass and that's about it.  Weeds?  Sure.  Fertilizer?  If I remembered.  But, this year, I've upped my cutting and feeding game.  And also, for the first time used some herbicides to tackle the weeds.

In the far back of the yards, I had a pretty serious Creeping Charlie issue that is a result of the lawn being untouched since before we moved in our house.  I posted in late May about how I started to use a Blue Spray Pattern Indicator in the sprayer to know where I was putting down the treatment.  I had both Wild Violet and Creeping Charlie running through the yard and the herbicide worked well.  In my mind, the blue pattern indicator additive was part of the reason for the efficacy because I was able to tell both how much and where I was putting it down.

This Fall (the past few w…