Last summer's heat was a bit challenging for a few of our smaller fruit trees, most being only 4-7 years old. Towards the end of the gardening season I noticed that two of our apricots and a pear tree had developed some pretty ghastly wounds in the form of bark that had split wide open in numerous places along both the trunk and limbs of the trees. This, having never happened before, was definitely a cause of concern for us and prompted me to dig up some information online that suggested perhaps the trees had suffered from sunscald...dang.
Our Chinese (Mormon) apricot tree is in pretty bad shape due to sunscald
Apparently sunscald is fairly common among younger thin-skinned fruit trees. Fortunately, it is often not fatal to the tree and I was very happy to see lots of new buds had developed on ours this winter signaling that the trees were still full of life. So from what I have been reading I will need to perform a bit of surgery on the trees and remove some of the curled bark thus helping the tree to recover and hopefully form calluses over the wounds. That and make sure that all of the trees get an adequate and steady supply of water to help prevent this issue in the future...lesson learned.
This young D'Anjou pear tree looks bad but is in better condition than the apricot
As for the free eggs, a few weeks back the grandson commented in a long forgotten conversation that the eggs he was eating were free. The free comment was not lost on me and this past weekend I shared with him a few of the secrets of life. I told the boy that now that he had grown into a strapping young five year old it was time he started earning his keep and proceeded to explain to him that the eggs he had partaken in were not really "free" at all. I shared with him the fact that caring for the chickens that laid those eggs required a bit of effort on our part and that they did not just magically appear in our refrigerator.
So, early the next morning we went out to the chicken house where I taught him how to perform his new duty, the monthly chore of cleaning the old straw out of the nesting boxes and replacing it with fresh, clean material. I explained to him one of my many theories, if the nesting boxes became too dirty the birds would begin to look for a better place in which to lay their eggs. I told him that as long as we kept the boxes cleaned at least once every month the birds did not seem to have this tendency and that the last thing we wanted was to wander around in the forest looking for stray eggs...he agreed that that would be quite a hassle. Under the hens strict supervision he did a pretty darn good job and will probably never refer to eggs as free again but might enjoy them all that much more as he now has a stake in the whole affair. Again, lesson learned.
Squawk! "Get to work boy, I'll be supervising this operation today."
"Good job, that's right, just dump the old straw on the ground. Hustle up now I've got eggs to lay."