Planets

Yesterday afternoon, the rustle – almost clatter! – of Cottonwood leaves soothed me as I worked in the nursery.  I worked until dark.  That was a worry to PJ, my Springer Spaniel.  She was close on my heels, sitting practically on my feet whenever I stopped.  She knows that night belongs to wild things and she doesn’t want to meet ANY of them!  As I walked across the field to the little cabin that houses my office, I noticed a brilliant star in the east – the planet Jupiter.  This morning I woke to fog on Planet Earth.  I can barely see across to the shoreline where the White Pines grow.

Western White Pine (Pinus monticola) is big; it CAN grow up to 150 feet tall. Evenly spaced whorls of  branches give the tree a majestic symmetry. On my property, it’s growing in the wet fen, but it is commonly found in seemingly opposite conditions, in dry gravelly spots.  A deep, wide root system binds the soil together, making it excellent for erosion control on steep slopes.

Over the last century, we have lost many of our Western White Pines to White Pine Blister Rust, a fungus which requires two different plants to host it in different phases of the disease cycle. The disease  moves back and forth between white pines and species of gooseberries and currants (Ribes species).  The plants that I currently have in the nursery are specially bred to be 90% resistant to this disease.

 Keep your eyes peeled for Jupiter and White Pines.  Enjoy your Planet.

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