Sunday, July 21, 2013

Red Maple Tree Propagation DIY

I have no idea if this will work. I also make no claims to be a horticulture expert by any means, but I have a little plot out back and I figured I would give it a shot. I ordered two apple trees from the Arbor Day Foundation and my purchase of "any amount" earned me a free Red Maple tree along with the two apples. I planted them all near the same area and I noticed these little sprigs coming off the base, right at the mulch of my tree, and I thought I might clip them and try to root them.

I used a regular kitchen knife to cut them from the tree and bring them into the house. I left a longish stem on for the first cut, but later made a more precise cut with very sharp scissors. Excuse the weird light effects and awfully chipped fingernail polish. The rooting gel I used is the brand Rootech, I don't know anything about them or the quality of different ones, but we will see how well this one works, but you can use anything. For the growth medium I used rockwool cubes and soaked them for a few hours beforehand in a gallon of water at pH level 6 and with one milliliter of Superthrive. You should be able to find all this stuff in your local garden supply store for about $10, but you can root a lot of clippings for that price.

After I had the clippings in cubes I put them into a ziplock bag and sprayed the inside of the bag with a little of the water from earlier and zipped it up trying to squeeze out as much air without hurting the plants and unzipping a small corner and blowing air full of CO2 into the bag to give the babies a better chance. I am gonna leave it in a sunny window for about a week and then check on the roots and see how they are doing. When I see that the cubes are not as wet in a few days I will add a little water to the bag and spray the foliage and bag again. We'll see how this works!

Update: I left these in there for about a month and checked on them about once and week and there were never any roots sprouting from the stems so it was unfortunately a fail :(

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Ann Arbor Adventures

Steve and I decided to go to Ann Arbor last night for dinner and the night took some unexpected turns. We have known for some time that the tires needed to be replaced on his car and we just hadn't gotten around to it. We drove into a parking structure and decided to walk around for a few minutes before dinner. We walked into a clothing store and we saw a bandana that we knew would be perfect for Beau the dog and we decided to splurge and spend the $2.

It was a really hot day and I was carrying a purse that I didn't need, so we decided to drop it off at the car, so I didn't have to carry it around all day. When we arrived back at the car, the front passenger wheel was flat. Very flat. So, we called a tire shop and it was about 6:30. It turns out there was a Firestone Complete Auto Care .3 miles away so we drove to it on the flat. They closed at 6. Because of the fancy wheels on the car, there is a special tire size that not everyone has, so we decided to call around and see if anyone else had it, but everything was already closed. We figured that Firestone would be able to inflate the tire enough to go to a place with the right size. So, we decided to check into a hotel for the night, but the only problem was that we had left Beau at home in his kennel. Poor Beau. We were an hour and a half from home and he would have to wait until the morning to go out, but there was no other option.

So we look at hotels within walking distance. Our options were all at least $250 per night, so we decided to rough it. After all, we would already be spending at least $200 for new tires, and we had already been staying awake until about 6am everyday (watching Harry, Home Alone and the Godfather) and Firestone opened again at 7am, so we decided bum around and bar hop until morning, its not like we had to drive.

After a delicious dinner at Jerusalem Garden we had Turkish coffee and baklava and it was delicious.

We moved on to Bar Louie (pretty uneventful), then to the Raven, where I accidentally set a small amount of my hair on fire, but there was only minor damage. I also saw an antique bottle of Fernet Branca from 1900 and it just so happened that they had Fernet in the bar and Steve tried it and liked it. I think he was Argentine in a former life. We finished the night off with a round of wings at Buffalo Wild Wings and then we retired to the car and waited for sunrise for 4 hours.

When the Firestone Complete Auto Care guy showed up he couldn't get the cap off to put air in the tires and would not order the special tire size for the car. Some "complete auto care". So we called AAA and Brian came to our rescue and towed us to the Discount Tire on Washtenaw and let me tell you, I have never seen people be so cheerful at 8 am about tires. They fixed us up and got us out within the hour. By this time poor Beau had been in his doggie prison for 18 hours with no food, and no water and we felt terrible, so we hurried home to Beau. He quickly forgave us and accepted his new bandana as a peace offering.
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