"Sometimes our fate resembles a fruit tree in winter. Who would think that those branches would turn green again and blossom, but we hope it, we know it."
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Spring is such a lovely time of the year in our area. We feel fortunate to have this season's beauty around us as we shelter-in-place at our rural home in Camas, Washington. Right now, our fruit trees are in bloom. Bernie is our family's resident fruit tree tender, and his TLC is apparent this year.
His holistic approach includes thoughtful pruning, and spraying the trees with neem oil and dormant oil. It's all about timing when it comes to spraying fruit trees. For example, dormant oil is sprayed late winter or early spring, before the buds start to swell. This year, he sprayed the dormant oil in February. The neem oil goes on a couple of times a month throughout the growing season to ward off insects.
The Birds and the Bees and Flowers and the Trees
Mother Nature sure has it figured out. The beautiful fruit blossoms beckon the bees, and it's their pollination that sets the fruit. Fortunately, our friendly mason bees are buzzing about the yard getting the job done. We've added a second mason bee house this year, and we are going to put new cocoons in it next week. Currently, we are keeping them dormant in a garage refrigerator.
Bernie is also going to use netting this year to help prevent the deer from stealing all the fruits of his labor. Last year, much to his dismay, they outwitted him. You can read about it here, "Lions and Tigers and Pears, Oh Deer!" Our apple trees are located inside fencing, but they can still reach over the fence and pluck an apple, or the entire crop, if they desire.
Harmony and Me are Pretty Good Company
We've discovered life in the country requires living in harmony with nature, and that includes wildlife. Rabbits, raccoons, and deer are regular visitors. Coyotes, and an occasional big cat, such as cougar, mountain lion, or bobcat might also wander through. Respecting them, and keeping our distance, goes a long way in ensuring their survival.
If you'd like to learn more about rural homes and lifestyles in Clark County, Washington, visit us any time at NatureAsNeighbors.com. We always enjoy sharing what we've learned.