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  • Topic: Reclaiming the Outdoor Railroad

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    • May 22, 2019 9:06 PM EDT
      • Candlewood Valley, Connecticut
         
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      Reclaiming the Outdoor Railroad

      While others have been posting great looking Spring layout and garden photos, I've been in a funk about mine.  For starters, we have had such a cold and rainy spring that what little good weather we have had was taken by other tasks. The railroad is still in winter slumber and a mess.  Adding to my depression, I lost all but one of my Dwarf Alberta Spruce trees.  I don't know if it was the odd winter; local cats or a disgruntled neighbor spraying them. I've never had healthy trees die off like this so I am at a loss as to why. Some of them date back to the early stages of my gardens - possibly 15 years ago.  I didn't notice any slow deterioration - just one day noticed them all dead...

       

      Notice in the above photo; the neighbor has re-graded her yard and now parks her truck in the lawn right at the lot line.  Trees in the front yard died as well...

       

      I finally got some Mojo back this past weekend,. The weather was great and we went nursery hopping. I found a number of nice plants to try and fill the holes with. I finally got time to start planting this evening.

       

      For this group I added a few more rocks to create a bed behind the track.  Two dwarf Arborvitae trees (found at Lowes for $6 each) flank a plant I have forgotten the name of  The Sedum in the foreground was already there...

      I created another bed in front of the track to accommodate another full sun plant....

       

      At this point the sun was going down so I quit for the day.  Glad to finally be back into it.

      This post was edited by Jon Radder at May 23, 2019 8:13 AM EDT
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    • May 23, 2019 6:46 AM EDT
      • Easton , Massachusetts
         
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      I loss some of my trees as well Jon..

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      The light in the tunnel might not be an engine , but a light in the caboose of my own train on my Roundy Round Rail Road !    My empire is complete...I think...

    • May 23, 2019 8:29 AM EDT
      • West Grove, Pennsylvania
         
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      Those trees are very susceptible to spider mites. 

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    • May 23, 2019 10:56 AM EDT
      • Nashville, IL
         
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      I agree with the Spider mite theory..  Once they hit, they kill a tree quick..  

      We spray for the mites a few times a year..

    • May 23, 2019 11:11 AM EDT
      • Easton , Massachusetts
         
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      I think they dried out...not enough moister this winter..

      ____________________________________

       My u-tube  My Vimeo

      The light in the tunnel might not be an engine , but a light in the caboose of my own train on my Roundy Round Rail Road !    My empire is complete...I think...

    • May 23, 2019 6:28 PM EDT
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
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      While others have been posting great looking Spring layout and garden photos, I've been in a funk about mine.  For starters, we have had such a cold and rainy spring that what little good weather we have had was taken by other tasks.

      You aren't alone. I finally got the motivation, along with some good weather and nearly got my railroad operational again, so someone stomped Resignation bridge, and now I have to build a new bridge. It looks like a deer put a hoof on the lower rail of the bridge and beard down. Then my boss sent me out of town for a few days, and then , and of course, and "Honey, can you?", and.....

       

      So you aren't alone.

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    • May 23, 2019 7:27 PM EDT
      • Vail, Az
         
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      David Maynard said:

      While others have been posting great looking Spring layout and garden photos, I've been in a funk about mine.  For starters, we have had such a cold and rainy spring that what little good weather we have had was taken by other tasks.

      You aren't alone. I finally got the motivation, along with some good weather and nearly got my railroad operational again, so someone stomped Resignation bridge, and now I have to build a new bridge. It looks like a deer put a hoof on the lower rail of the bridge and beard down. Then my boss sent me out of town for a few days, and then , and of course, and "Honey, can you?", and.....

       

      So you aren't alone.

      Probably too much company, I have 60 feet of elevated track to tow back into position after a yokel backed a trailer into it. It's the planks that split lengthwise that are the real bug a boos, I'm out of planks!

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      John

       

      The older I get, the less I know, please don't make me prove it.

       

       

    • May 23, 2019 8:16 PM EDT
      • Port Orchard, Washington
         
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      At least you guys have layouts to fix up. I've been without a layout since 2011. Way too long. Hopefully can start this summer.

    • May 23, 2019 8:19 PM EDT

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      i had to look at the pics a couple of times to see the dead trees.

      i think a train running would take your eye from the problem spots we all see (but no one else does) on our layouts.

       

      i think it looks great.

    • May 23, 2019 10:13 PM EDT
      • Candlewood Valley, Connecticut
         
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      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...

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    • May 23, 2019 10:44 PM EDT
      • Strattanville, PA
         
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      Jon, 

      Didn't you buy a few Albertas before winter that you had in your basement?  Did those make it?  Perhaps the outdoor ones got jealous and gave up?  I say you are bouncing back nicely, the new planting look good and almost give things a more delicate look than big burly Albertas.

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    • May 24, 2019 3:12 AM EDT
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      Jon,

       

      I have to agree with the guys that said the "before" pictures were as beautiful as the "in progress" pictures!  We are always dealing with die-offs from bugs, drought, flood, Kid-zilla, you name it, so, yes, you are not alone!

       

      Eric

    • May 24, 2019 6:42 PM EDT
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
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      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.

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      and King Butt Modeler

    • May 24, 2019 8:45 PM EDT
      • Candlewood Valley, Connecticut
         
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      Randy Lehrian Jr. said:

      Jon, 

      Didn't you buy a few Albertas before winter that you had in your basement?  Did those make it?  Perhaps the outdoor ones got jealous and gave up?  I say you are bouncing back nicely, the new planting look good and almost give things a more delicate look than big burly Albertas.

      Yes, I bought 6. 2 did not survive and the four others are in bade shape. I will trim them back and tray and salvage them. They lost all their new growth.  I've not sprayed for mites - likely the problem all around.

       

      EDIT: To fix my math!

      This post was edited by Jon Radder at May 24, 2019 8:58 PM EDT
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    • May 24, 2019 8:49 PM EDT
      • Candlewood Valley, Connecticut
         
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      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.

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    • May 25, 2019 6:53 PM EDT
      • Candlewood Valley, Connecticut
         
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      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

       

      This post was edited by Jon Radder at May 25, 2019 7:26 PM EDT
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    • May 27, 2019 5:48 PM EDT
      • Ormond Beach, Fl. 32174
         
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      hid the truck

      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

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