Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Natures's conflicting agenda - sap rising/10F degrees temperature

I spotted this strange sight in yesterday's 10 degree temperature. Went out this morning, 10 degrees again to shoot these pictures.

The city composting center workers came last Friday to pick up the pile of pruned branches I set out on the curb. For some reason they thought it was a good idea to prune branches off the small maple trees lining the street to add to the pile. As soon as they did so, I noticed that some of the pruned trees were weeping a liquid from the cut branches. The temperature on Friday was in the low to mid 30's so I thought it unusual but not impossible for sap to rise in the trees. But now with high temperatures not rising to more than 20 degrees for a few days I wouldn't have thought the trees would continue to weep.

Despite the 10 degree temperature when the photos were taken, there is a drop of liquid on the tip of the ice dagger. I guess the sugar in the water acts as sort of an antifreeze.

I hate it when the workers trim trees. It's obvious that they don't have any training in tree pruning as they always use a small chain saw on even the smallest branches and leave a long stub or cut mid-branch. I had to re-prune the tree, cutting the stub back to the tree collar after they were done.


Blogger Blackswamp_Girl said...

Yikes! Can you help the tree out by watering it a little more once the ground thaws? The looks like a lot of moisture to lose... I wonder what the long-term effects will be. Any idea?

3:03 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Kim,
We've had a lot of rain this winter and the ground is saturated so the tree has a lot of moisture in the root zone where the ground is not frozen. Even with the temps in the single digits and not rising above the 20s the ground is frozen only a few inches deep. Probably not more than 5-6 inches. Maybe I should attach a bucket and make some maple syrup ;)

I was tempted to lick the ice to see if it was sweet like a Popsicle but it had some windblown grit on it so I chickened out. The neighbors think I'm weird enough already. If they saw me licking a tree branch they would think I went around the bend. Probably call the white coats. "Damn tree hugger. Look what he's doing now! Obscene I tell you".

5:24 AM  
Blogger Blackswamp_Girl said...

LOL!!! :) Good thing it's been a wet winter for you. It makes sense that the wet ground may save these guys from drying out after all.

5:08 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

We had a mini drought during the summer so we definitely needed all the rain we got during the autumn. Supposedly with el nino it could be a dry year for us but I'm hoping that's not the case.

1:23 PM  

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