Since I’m not writing, I’ve been working on my backyard. Fear of my neighbors disapproval of my weed patches only plays into this a little bit. We planted two peach and one apple tree across our backyard. The apple was a hybrid of five different kinds of apples – Granny Smith, Gala, Fuji, Red Delicious, and Honey Crisp. Self-pollinating, this tree was gonna be awesome. We have the urban nightmare of deer that like to wander through the neighborhood and a friend had their little apple tree start eaten to the ground. So ever vigilant, I built a fence around my trees. However, I also left the whole area dirt which then grew weeds.
In my “hide the weeds” project, I had to take down the fence to till the weeds and dirt in preparation for weed fabric and wood chips. I figured, it being fall, the deer nibbling off the leaves on the tree for a few days wouldn’t kill the tree. *sigh* They did far more than just nibble the leaves. I saw the first signs of nibbling a day or two after the fence came down. I scared the deer out of my yard a couple of mornings later. Then a day or two after that, I looked out at my apple tree in horror. They didn’t stop at the leaves. They ripped all but the smallest of the 4 grafts completely off the tree. These weren’t new grafts either. I planted the tree last year and it’s had all summer to grow and integrate. One graft ripped a good chunk out of the trunk.
Looking at my little tree with one small graft broken pretty badly and the other three laying on the ground, I almost cried. Not only was the tree not especially cheap, it is hard to find an apple hybrid with more than three grafts. Now, if the Fuji graft survives it will be a miracle and I’m left with the base Gala trunk. I wrapped wire fencing around the two remaining branches to keep the evil beasts from finishing the job. But I don’t know if it will survive. That one graft did quite a bit of damage when it was ripped limb-from-trunk. So if anyone has a permit, I know some deer I’d like to see in the same place they left the branches to my poor apple tree.
This is the Novel Mage saying, *POOF*