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    • June 6, 2019 8:09 AM EDT
    • My old layout had over 60 of these trees and my current layout, 70+ and I have yet to lose one.  The key is to make sure they get watered a lot the first year and then every few days after that.  Trim the bottom branches and thin the trees out every year, this prevents spider mites and trees from dying on the inside.  The trees do not do well indoors, they should do fine in the filtered sun but I think being indoors the air is to dry for them, especially in winter.  

    • June 5, 2019 12:14 PM EDT
    • Rooster is disturbing …. You opened your self for that one …  

    • June 4, 2019 8:16 PM EDT
    • Preying Mantis Spider Mites on a Rooster before dusting is disturbing

       

       

    • June 4, 2019 8:14 PM EDT
    • Bruce D. Chandler said:
      Ken Brunt said:

      There is that, Bruce. But you don't want to be bringing them home with you either. 

      That's for sure.  I tried getting some Preying Mantis eggs, but that didn't work out for them...so...I've got a bunch biting the dust...

      Hopefully the Preying mantis eggs turn out all female sluts then they will bite the heads off of everything after mating allowing the Dwarf Alberta spruces from Walmart to succeed and thrive!

    • June 4, 2019 8:07 PM EDT
    • Jon Radder said:

      Survived they did, healthy they are not.  I put them outside in early May and kept them in the sun and watered, but the damage was done. Yesterday trimmed off all the dead which included some new growth. This is what is left...

       

       

      My plan is to knock the dirt off the roots on the bare side, then plant two close together and see how they do over the summer.

       

      @Andy - What do you spray with. I still have two survivors on the layout and would like to protect them.

       

       

      EDITed because my proof reading skill improves by ten fold after hitting POST

      "WACKOFF" the bottom branches and even them up. Then plant them deeper like tomato plants(that love the water) in turn making scale trees.

      Spider mites only reside on Roosters which require a regular feather dusting cause they are dumb and don't know any better.

    • June 4, 2019 11:21 AM EDT
    • For spider mites, I just use the jet stream setting on the nozzle to knock off the bugs and their eggs.  Probably not as effective as chemical warfare, but then, dihydromonoxide has been used as an industrial solvent since well before the Industrial Revolution.  I hit the trees once a week, when I remember it.

    • June 3, 2019 9:20 PM EDT
    • Jerry Bohlander said:

      Sevin is highly toxic to bees, and many other things, including you.  I would suggest you may not want to use the product in the long term

      Search and see for yourself

       

      Regards

       

      Jerry

      I read the included pamphlet and agree it's nasty stuff.  I can't believe it's approved for use on fruits and vegetables.  This will probably be the only bottle I buy.

    • June 3, 2019 7:38 AM EDT
    • Sevin is highly toxic to bees, and many other things, including you.  I would suggest you may not want to use the product in the long term

      Search and see for yourself

       

      Regards

       

      Jerry

    • June 2, 2019 9:19 PM EDT
    • I bought the Sevin in a hose mix bottle. Dang stuff kills EVERYTHING; maybe even the neighbor cats.  The run through the RR all the time. No stopping them.

    • June 2, 2019 12:32 PM EDT
    • Ken Brunt said:

      There is that, Bruce. But you don't want to be bringing them home with you either. 

      That's for sure.  I tried getting some Preying Mantis eggs, but that didn't work out for them...so...I've got a bunch biting the dust...

    • June 2, 2019 12:16 PM EDT
    • There is that, Bruce. But you don't want to be bringing them home with you either. 

    • June 2, 2019 11:25 AM EDT
    • Ken Brunt said:

      Sevin seems to work Jon.

      Then again I usually stay away from buying plants at the big box stores. A reputable garden center will screen their stock before the sell it and probably refuse delivery if it has mites. 

      Yeah, but your plants CAN get mites LONG after they have been planted....

    • June 2, 2019 10:07 AM EDT
    • Ken Brunt said:

      Sevin seems to work Jon.

      Then again I usually stay away from buying plants at the big box stores. A reputable garden center will screen their stock before the sell it and probably refuse delivery if it has mites. 

       

      If these got mites, I infected them with some other plants I brought inside. The die-off outside could have been lack of moisture or mites. I want to spray to be certain.

    • June 2, 2019 9:49 AM EDT
    • Sevin seems to work Jon.

      Then again I usually stay away from buying plants at the big box stores. A reputable garden center will screen their stock before the sell it and probably refuse delivery if it has mites. 

    • June 2, 2019 9:38 AM EDT
    • Survived they did, healthy they are not.  I put them outside in early May and kept them in the sun and watered, but the damage was done. Yesterday trimmed off all the dead which included some new growth. This is what is left...

       

       

      My plan is to knock the dirt off the roots on the bare side, then plant two close together and see how they do over the summer.

       

      @Andy - What do you spray with. I still have two survivors on the layout and would like to protect them.

       

       

      EDITed because my proof reading skill improves by ten fold after hitting POST

    • May 27, 2019 9:35 PM EDT
    • "Thinking Spar Pole and rigging to a lumber operation down the hill."

      .

      I like that idea!!!!!

    • May 27, 2019 6:43 PM EDT
    • Great idea Bill.  I've got a large trellis that I'd like to grow something on as a permanent solution, but for photo sessions the netting would be perfect!

    • May 27, 2019 5:48 PM EDT
    • Jon Radder said:

      Thanks for all the comments.  I've decided to turn this from a tragedy to an opportunity. Spent the last two nights re-planting around Coal Dump Curve. I'll work inside the curve next, then up by the Engine House.  I picked up more of those dwarf Arborvitaes at Lowes tonight then spent the rest of the evening adding a few plants on the outside of the curve...

       

      Yesterday's work in the foreground.  With the Spruce gone, there is now a better view toward town.  I need to build a view block to hide the red pick up truck that has taken up residence right on the lot line...

       

      This familiar angle now shows a lot more of the house, but the plantings have inspired me to fix the Wall Passenger Shelter and get it and the station planted again this year...

      Jon, hide the truck with some camouflage netting between two poles, it will blend right in, you can get it at army and navy stores

    • May 25, 2019 6:53 PM EDT
    • Perfect day today. The morning was spent with other chores, but I had some time this afternoon to continue to work on the railroad.

       

      When I was a young man, I worked for Radio Shack. My first promotion to manager was into a store in a good market that had been managed into the toilet. When I saw how trashed it was, a very wise district manager advised me to only look at 4 feet at a time. Get that looking great, then move on. That advise has worked well to keep me motivated.

      Today I worked at Pine Summit where two of the dead Spruce trees remained. The name is still relevant as it was named for a full size pine tree root that is the ruling grade on the main. Some day there will be a passenger station placed here, but for now it's just a flag stop with no shelter.

       

      Here are the "before" shots taken today.  Note the nice mess the neighbor's grader left when re-grading the lawn...

       

      One dead tree replaced by three smaller ones (both varieties of Arborvitae) and some Scotch Moss. The super wet spring and changed light from limbs lost a year ago in high winds have caused the Solomon's Seal and Creeping Jenny (along with the weeds) to explode...

       

      Tomorrow will be a day out on the lake. Maybe I'll find a rock or two

       

    • May 24, 2019 8:49 PM EDT
    • David Maynard said:

      I don't see what is so bad about leaving a dead tree or two on the railroad. They are out there in the 1:1 world. A (naked) dead tree has been keeping sentinel over my neighbor's yard for over a decade now. I say naked because it doesn't even have bark on it, so the wood has aged to a nice weathered gray.

      If I was in a more wooded setting I'd leave a few complete with branches.  These, however, are in the middle of focal point gardens with most of my family visiting in July.  I did keep the trunks of two near the tracks. Thinking Spar Pole and rigging to a lumber operation down the hill.