While I was out in the backyard trying to decide if I needed to rake or not, I noticed that the arborvitae hedge screening me from the back neighbor looked thin and was turning brown in places. In horror, I peeked through at the neighbor’s cluttered backyard. Ugh. I paced up the entire 150 feet of the hedge stopping to peer at the brown spots. Maybe it was a bug of some kind. Yes, I had neglected it all of last year but I did pound in the Jobe’s Spears for Evergreens back in the Spring. It appeared, however, not to be helping. I know the trees are stressed because of the lack of rain and I promise to put soaker hoses down in the Spring. But what to do? I need that hedge. The birds need that hedge.
Several days later I had a nightmare where someone had come in and cut down the 20-foot shrubs leaving only stumps. I could see the neighbor’s house and yard but worse than that, they could see mine. And the birds were fluttering about in confusion. I got up and looked up the number for the local tree-spraying man.
The tree guy was great. He came and looked. Said it was normal not an infestation of something dreadful. He told me many people had been calling. The leaf drop was cyclical. He also said the hedge was not getting enough light because of all the other trees in the yard and recommended taking some of them down. Gulp. I hate taking down healthy trees. I told him about the spears. He just laughed and said it was not enough. I needed 20 or 30 pounds of Hollytone. 20-30 pounds? I had only seen Hollytone in tiny 5-pound bags. Oh well, if that is what it needs, Ok then.
As luck and the tree gods would have it, when I mentioned my dilemma to DJ from Oak in the Seed she said she had a 20-pound bag of Hollytone languishing in her shed that she no longer needed. She is a gem! I lugged the bag home and scattered the granules under the trees. Hopefully we will get enough rain and snow this winter to soak it into the ground.
In the meantime, the cold weather is here and the birds are using the hedge to shelter in as a windbreak. It is full of migrating flocks of warblers, sparrows and finches as well as my backyard residents.
I am so on top of this now.