Measuring tree heights

Every year at around this time I wander around the property measuring the heights of select trees, to see how much each has grown. Here’s a post about this last year.

Once again, the incremental growth throughout the year becomes more obvious when compared with measured heights from the previous year.

Here’s my spreadsheet recording the heights (in inches); I’ve added columns to also indicate the change from the previous year, e.g. the “18 ▸ 19 Δ” column shows the number of inches of growth between 2018 and 2019:

Tree heights spreadsheet

This year I used a new tool to measure the heights of trees taller than I can reach with the tape measure. Using this simple tool, I can stand near the tree to be measured, look at the top of the tree through the two sight rings, and use the mirror to see the bubble level, then measure the distance from the tree to myself, and add the height from the ground to my eyes. This gives the height of the tree:

Height tool

As I recorded each measurement (in the spreadsheet on my iPad), I took a picture of each tree, as a visual record. This time, I thought I’d post all of the photos. They are in the same order as the spreadsheet, above.

No doubt this is only of interest to me, but maybe others might enjoy seeing other areas of the homestead that I don’t normally show with the more common animal-focused posts. (There is a bonus glimpse of the ducks in one picture, though!)

A new addition to the measurements this year, the Monkey Puzzle tree (by our bedroom closet). I wish I had measured it before, though I couldn’t until I got the new tool; I think it’s tripled in size since we’ve been here. It’s also the only tree being measured that we didn’t plant:

Monkey puzzle (by closet)

Coral bark maple (by front of shop):

Coral bark maple (by front of shop)

Dogwood by pool (by dog yard NW corner):

Dogwood by pool E (by dog yard NW corner)

October Glory red maple (by dog yard SW corner):

October Glory red maple (by dog yard SW corner)

Field Leyland SE1 (nearest flagpole):

Field Leyland SE1 (nearest flagpole)

Field Leyland SE3 (east of road gate):

Field Leyland SE3 (east of road gate)

Field Leyland SE4 (west of road gate):

Field Leyland SE4 (west of road gate)

Field Leyland SW (corner):

Field Leyland SW (corner)

Field Leyland NW (corner):

Field Leyland NW (corner)

Field fir outside gate (to N property):

Field fir outside gate (to N property)

Field Leyland NE/tall (last tall going E):

Field Leyland NE/tall (last tall going E)

Field Leyland NE (by wooden pole for old fence):

Field Leyland NE (by wooden pole for old fence)

Field dawn redwood (second row):

Field dawn redwood (second row)

Field tulip (replacement) (second row):

Field tulip (replacement) (second row)

Field scarlet willow (second row):

Field scarlet willow (second row)

Field Leyland feature (second row):

Field Leyland feature (second row)

Field apple NE (4th from S); a rather sad specimen, broken by deer and elk, but hanging on:

Field apple NE (4th from S)

Field apple NW (4th from S):

Field apple NE (4th from S)

Field oak (replacement) (“Thorin 2”, center of field):

Field oak (replacement) (“Thorin 2”, center of field)

Behind white gazebo fir (N of gazebo):

Behind white gazebo fir (N of gazebo)

Behind pond fir (middle between orchard & pond), with bonus ducks:

Behind pond fir (middle between orchard & pond)

Next to stream fir (next to pond stream):

Next to stream fir  (next to pond stream)

Weeping willow (beyond pond, by cat graveyard):

Weeping willow (beyond pond, by cat graveyard)

Apple honey crisp (next to old coop):

Apple honey crisp (next to bantam coop)

Apple gala (next to old coop):

Apple gala (next to bantam coop)

Apple braeburn (next to old coop):

Apple braeburn (next to bantam coop)

Sweet gum in flowerbeds (replacement tree, center of central path):

Sweet gum in flowerbeds (replacement tree, center of central path)

Weeping cherry (in fountain garden):

Weeping cherry (in fountain garden)

That’s it!

Transplanting fir trees

Last Sunday I transplanted five volunteer fir trees in various places around the property.

This one self-sprouted in the southwest corner of the property, in the middle of a shrub-sized tree, so I dug it up and moved it to a grove of leyland cypress trees in that corner of the field, where it’ll eventually do more good:

Transplanted fir tree

This one sprouted next to a rock by the pond, which would have been fine, except it’d eventually block the view of our weeping willow. So I dug it up:

Dug up fir tree

And transplanted it to a better location a little further from the pond:

Transplanted fir tree

I then headed down the slope on the east side, which is left wild. There are a bunch of tall and not-so-tall trees there; a nursery of baby fir trees amongst the weeds:

Trees

I was pleased to see many little seedlings sprouting up in the uncut grass; I’ve been hoping for that, both to fill out the wilderness with more trees, and provide a supply of more young trees to transplant to useful places in the future:

Seedlings

You win some, you lose some; further down the hill, I saw a fallen tree that took out a section of fence:

Fallen tree

Plus some fallen tree limbs, though many of those have been there for years.  You can also see the road below our east boundary:

Fallen tree limbs

They came from this tall tree:

Tall tree

Back up the hill, I dug up three decent-sized young trees. Here’s the first in the cart:

Tree in cart

I transplanted that one behind the white gazebo. It’s currently next to another mostly dead tree that we’ll cut down… once our chainsaw is done being serviced:

Transplanted fir tree

The final two fir trees I transplanted to the bank behind the pond; you can also see a portion of the north fence:

Transplanted fir trees

Sunny snow

We haven’t had any more snow for a couple of days, but it’s been below freezing most of the time, so what’s here isn’t significantly melting. The forecast calls for more snow this weekend, so the current stuff will solidify into a layer of ice, with fresh snow on top.

Here are a few more snowy pictures, from yesterday and today.

Gobs of snow on a dogwood tree:

Snow on dogwood tree

Snow on the beehives, with icicles hanging off the roof. The snow is melting above the brown one in the foreground, which is a good sign of warm bees inside. It isn’t melting as much on the other hive, which may mean they aren’t doing so well, or the roof might just be a better insulator:

Snow on beehives

Looking up at the ceiling of the berry cage. It’s holding up nicely so far, though I worry about its capacity to cope with lots more snow. But I’m not going to try cleaning it off; I want to see what it can handle, and will repair later if needed:

Snow on berry cage

A close-up:

Snow on berry cage

Some interesting graupel patterns on the frozen pond:

Pond

The pond and snow-covered trees beyond:

Pond & trees

Me shoveling the snow from the driveway, so Jenn could go out (the car is parked inside the shop, for now, though she’ll start parking it in the breezeway next to the shop, so I can work on the duck house in there):

Clearing driveway

Snow shovel:

Clearing driveway

Icebergs sliding off the hoop house:

Snow sliding off hoop house

Morning sun through the trees:

Sun

Sparkly snow:

Sparkly snow

Frozen garden ornament, with the brown gazebo in the background:

Garden ornament

Interesting morning light, with sparkly snow, and snow-covered trees beyond the field:

Sparkly snow

Frozen small pond:

Frozen small pond

Measuring tree heights

Every year at this time I wander around the property measuring the heights of select trees, to see how much each has grown. Here’s a post about this last year.

Once again, the incremental growth throughout the year becomes more obvious when compared with measured heights from the previous year.

Here’s my spreadsheet recording the heights (in inches):

As you can see, some trees didn’t survive, and some got shorter (due to damage by deer), but many grew quite significantly.

Here are a few examples, in the same order as last year’s post; compare to last time to see the growth.

Firstly, the Sweet Gum:

The “behind white gazebo fir”:

The weeping willow is looking really good:

A field leyland:

The coral bark maple:

Irrigation & bark

Yesterday I added irrigation for some of the new trees in the field. I didn’t have enough parts to do all of them, so will have to go to Home Depot sometime to complete that, but at least a bunch of them are now getting watered:

The corkscrew willow tree is putting on some leaves:

As is the tulip tree:

Irrigation for the leyland cypress additions:

And extended the irrigation to two of the new apple trees, but the new third row doesn’t have irrigation yet, since I didn’t have enough pipe:

Here’s one of the apple tree additions:

Blossoms on one of the new apple trees:

I also shoveled a bunch of bark onto the triangle area between the veggie garden, old chicken coop, and back lawn. This area used to be part of the lawn, so has just had dead grass for a couple of years, so good to finally get it barked:

Another angle:

New field trees

Today we added a few more trees on the north border of our field.

Six new Leyland Cypress trees to replace existing ones that didn’t survive, and fill in some gaps:

Plus a couple of larger specimen trees:

A Tulip tree:

And a Dawn Redwood tree:

We also did some bondage and fencing on the weeping willow tree near the pond, that deer had pushed over:

Measuring tree heights

Over the weekend I measured the heights of several of the trees we’ve planted over the past few years — something I started last year. It’s interesting to see how much each has grown over the year. Just looking at them, it doesn’t look like most of the trees have grown all that much, but comparing the actual heights, I realize that many have doubled in size in that time.

Here’s a picture of my spreadsheet:

Here are a few examples of the trees, in no particular order, starting with the Sweet Gum:

The “behind white gazebo fir”:

The field oak tree (“Thorin”), which is a cyborg:

The weeping willow:

The weeping cherry:

The field Leyland NW:

The coral bark maple:

A dogwood by the pool (which has been put away for the winter):

A row of leyland cypresses in the field:

Elk tree damage & repair

Elk are magestic beasts, fun to look at… but they are also (literally) big menaces, particularly frustrated males.

Recently we found some of our apple trees damaged by elk rubbing on them:

And not satisfied with that, last night one broke our new oak tree in the field:

Since it wasn’t completely broken, I thought I’d try repairing it. No guarantees it’ll recover, but it’s worth trying. Several sites recommended putting bolts through the trunk, and using caulk to seal up the breaks, so that’s what I did:

I also added a bit of fencing around it, to make it harder to get to, though it won’t slow down the elk much:

Hopefully it’ll recover!

Oh, and I also saw a coyote in the field:

Extending irrigation to new trees

Much as I’d like to be working on the coop, to get it ready for occupation, it’s a hot day with no sign of rain for a while, so I thought I’d better add irrigation for some new trees around the property. Meanwhile, Jenn started painting the siding; more on that probably tomorrow.

Irrigation pipe inside PVC pipe as conduit under the path.

The “dessert” apple trees (as opposed to cider apples); the one in the foreground is a McIntosh variety that was planted earlier this year, now with irrigation.

Two dogwood trees and dogwood shrubs around the pool area, now irrigated.

Irrigation for a couple of the new cider apple trees.

And a couple more.

A branch off the row of apple trees out to the new oak tree in the field, again buried in conduit. Nothing like digging a ditch in 90°F heat.


Irrigation for the oak tree.