Trees: Deer and Storm Damage

Saturday, Jon was working and me and the kids were going to run down to the land to check in on things. We needed to water the 5 apple trees we planted back in the spring. We have not checked on them for a few weeks as we’ve had an excessive amount of rain. Everything at the house was quite water logged for a while.

The soggy mess we had for quite a while

We were finally drying up from all of that at the house and figured the trees maybe getting a bit thirsty. I also wanted to check on the wild blackberries at the land. The blackberries we planted at the house are ripening up nicely. There are a lot of wild blackberries on the land and I figured some of them would be ripening too.

The trees are planted near the entrance of the long road/driveway of the land. When we arrived this is how we found the apple trees.

They are still alive, but they were beat all to pieces. At first I thought maybe they were beaten up by the storm we had little over a week ago.  There were several limbs bent off, broken, or just gone! As we started watering them I was inspecting them and looking around. I found several large deer prints in the dirt around them. I then believed it is deer that are eating our precious young apple trees! It is out in the boonies with a lot of rural and woods around. How in the world are we going to stop that?!? This will give us a new problem to research a solution for.

A bit disgusted, we got back in the car to drive on down the driveway (I use this term loosely) to where we normally park. The driveway is quite long and we usually park at the end of the gravel in an area that has been cleared off a bit. The thought is that will be the location for our house someday. I just barely had the pitiful apple trees in my rear view mirror and came to this.

Large Oak Tree Fallen Across the Driveway

This was a very large oak tree that had fallen across the driveway (assume from the horrible storm from a week or so back).Yes this is a road although you can barely see it for all of the weeds that have grown up! Oh my we need a bush hog. This is what the road look liked just a few months back.

There was no way of driving passed or around this tree. I parked the car and got out to check out the situation. It was obvious this tree was way too big for us to move today. Jon and the boys were going to have to come back later with a chainsaw to get it moved. Just past the fallen oak tree there was this smaller tree. This I could have handled on my own, but since they would have to be back with a chainsaw I left it. Again, this is a road….or at least it is supposed to be. And what’s worse the non-road areas were even more overgrown!

Smaller Fallen Tree Across Road

I decided to just walk the rest of the way checking out the blackberries as I went. The kids opted to stay in the car. It was probably just as well as I was really feeling down and probably needed some alone time. We had just been here a few weeks back and everything has changed what seemed like overnight! I was stressing about how in the world were we going to be able to keep up with this place for 5+ years until we actually move out here. It all of a sudden felt like a daunting task.

As I walked I came across some daisies that seemed to lift my spirits.

Daisies Simple Beauty

I remembered most of the blackberry blossoms I had seen were at the end of the driveway/gravel. That is where I was heading, but was checking out the sides of the road as I went. Of course it was quite difficult to tell the road from the sides of the road. There were some smaller patches and vines scattered along the road. None of them were ripened yet and were quite small. I’m sure the size of the berries were because most of the vines looked very young. Maybe they will fill out more by the time they ripen.

Wild Blackberries Seem So Small Compared to Those from Our Vines We Planted at the House

As I walked I saw I red fox trot across the road way up ahead of me. I tried to take a picture, but could not get my phone out in time. I don’t recall ever seeing a red fox before. I haven’t seen too many foxes period, but the ones I have seen were gray. It was pretty, but of course we know they are bad news for chickens. That’ll be something else we have to address when we move out here with the chickens. But that is so far away right now that I cannot focus on it.

When I reached the clearing area I found many blackberry bushes. There were only a handful to be picked right now. Most were still red. These berries had a little more size on them, but still looked small compared to those we have on the vines we planted at the house. We are still amazed at the size of them at the house.

Larger Blackberries on Larger Vines

I was also a bit disappointed to not find more than a handful ready to pick. I guess with the damage to the apple trees , the fallen trees, and everything so grownup and snaky it didn’t take much for me to get disappointed.

The good news is the apple trees are not dead, the fallen trees did not hurt anything or anyone, the weeds can be mowed, and we do have a lot of blackberries to be picked once they ripen.