Small Fraser Fir - Added to Hornbeam Hill


The reforestation continues.  When we bought the lot in Downers Grove, we knew we were going to have to take down some trees due to construction.  The Village of Downers Grove forced us to invest in quite a bit of infrastructure in the name of water management and one of the outcomes of that (digging and placing a big basin, connecting it down to the sewers, etc) was that we took down eight to ten pretty mature trees.

Because of that fact and the idea that we want a private, good looking property, we've undertaken quite a bit of planting of trees in what I'm calling a 'reforestation'.  In the first year (2017), we planted exclusively deciduous trees.  Nine total.  We ended up losing three of them, so that's a net of six.  This year (2018), we've planted twelve in total.  That's 21 total, but only one of them (the weeping cedar) is a conifer or evergreen.

Number 22 changes that.  Above, you'll see our first traditional evergreen - a Fraser Fir.  We planted it about 3/4 way back towards the rear about 15 feet from the fence.  About half way between where we want to build the tree house and the trampoline.

It is a small one standing at just between three and four feet tall, but it wasn't cheap.  At least, by the standard of what we ususally pay when it comes to buying trees ($15).  I ended up buying it from Home Depot in Oak Brook where I was renting a truck to bring home patio furniture.  I saw it, and couldn't pass it up.


Fraser Firs are what we usually get for our Christmas tree.  Nat and I talked about planting a series of Fraser Firs in our yard in successive years in the hope that one day, we'd be able to harvest our *own* Christmas tree.  That'd be nuts, wouldn't it?

This tree isn't a fast grower, as most sites say it will grow between 8" and 12" per year.

I'll get out there this Summer to measure the height of each of the trees as I think that's an important thing to track over time.  Here's this tree's measurement as of now:  44" tall to the tip.


This tree was planted in the past few weeks, so I'll be keeping an eye on it for health and wellness and I'll be sure to keep it well watered as it gets established.

As for the rest of the trees, here's all 22.  We've lost three - the Dawn Redwood, the Corkscrew Willow and the biggest of the flowering pears.  So, at this point, we're down to a net of 19.  I'll be replacing the pear and am looking to replace the Redwood. The Willow?  Think we might let it go.

1. Flowering Pear in backyard on north side.
2. Flowering Pear in front yard by garage.
3. Japanese flowering cherry
4 and 5: 2 Lindens that I espalier'd
6. A Dawn Redwood from Earth Day 2017
7. Nat's Saucer Magnolia in our front yard
8. A Corkscrew Willow all the way in the back
9. A Crimson King Norway Maple near the trampoline
10. Another flowering pear from Earth Day 2018
11. Red Maple Sun Valley tree from Earth Day 2018.
12. Weeping Cedar tree - our first evergreen.
13. The weeping flowering cherry tree that the Babe planted for Earth Day 2018.
14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21. These Frans Fontaine Hornbeams.

Oh...and the name in the title?  Hornbeam Hill?  Yeah...I think that's what I've settled on.  Started with "Hilltop".  Then "Grand Gardens".  Now, with the Hornbeams being installed and being what I think will end up being our signature feature?  Hornbeam Hill feels right.  Maybe I should start putting this stuff over there?  www.HornbeamHill.com just forwards to my [garden diary] posts right now, but I've changed over my gardening Instagram handle to /hornbeamhill

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