From Tag Elders to Fraser Firs

May 10, 2019. Out with the tag elders, in with the fraser firs! The south end of my waterfront plot, across a small stream bridged by wooden planks, was overgrown with a weedy tree called tag elder. (They should be called “tangle elder,” because you get all tangled in their skinny, hungry branches!) We removed about a dozen of them and planted three new fraser firs. We also transplanted seven balsams from elsewhere on the property. Between the trees, I planted about four hardy pampas grass plants, which can grow up to 10 feet tall.

My intention is two-fold: (1) create a separate space here for meditative time; (2) create a natural barrier along the property line with my southern neighbor. I’m most concerned about the transplants. Will they survive the harsh winter as they reestablish roots? I will baby them with hand-carried water and mulch, but expect to lose a few. We have to be willing to lose sometimes, don’t we? When you transplant a tree, or a person, the results aren’t predictable. I’m learning that loss is part of the process. I don’t like it, but I’m starting to accept it.

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