Articles written by Darryl McCullough (unless otherwise noted)

Sunday, March 12, 2017

A Windy Day In March

I hadn't been to East Bradenton Park since December, and it's time for the first spring fertilization. So one afternoon this past week I headed up to the Park with a 50-pound bag of processed poultry litter, plus some Fertrell and elemental sulfur. Fortunately, as it turned out, I also brought along some bamboo poles and staking ribbon.

As spoiled rotten lucky as I am, it's not surprising that my property is surrounded by heavily treed land, including the conservation woods along the southern border, and the good neighbors to the north. So I'm not used to the wind problems that can plague an unprotected grove like East Bradenton Park. I got a quick lesson.

At least there was only one total loss, this formerly beautiful canistel. It was well-staked when planted, like most of the trees in the grove, but the stake was nowhere to be found. I don't believe anyone unstaked it; most likely the mowing crew picked it up.

A couple of other trees looked like they just barely withstood the high winds of the past few weeks. First was the one and only guava tree in the grove, a Billy Hopkins selection called Pink Barbie.

Sporting three new stakes, it's now somewhat straighter.

The fast-growing Tice mulberry was leaning heavily. I didn't try to restore it to verticality, just to sustain it without further damage.

There were a few other signs of high wind. The carambolas had lost all of last season's leaves, but were leafing out nicely.

The trees aren't as pretty as most of what we see at home, but overall the grove is in good shape. Of course the community is eager to see some fruit. This year we will need to strip the mangos, longans, and most of the other fruit from these young trees, but there should be papayas, carambola, and maybe bananas. And maybe this little bunch of loquats will ripen up.

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