William Trachte

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since Apr 12, 2013
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hugelkultur dog forest garden
35 year Teamster retiree UPS clerk
Marquette University BA liberal arts
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Recent posts by William Trachte

Tyler Miller wrote:
Hazelnuts/Filberts: Nut producing shrubs. Not thorny, but my understanding is that they were frequently used to make living fences in Europe. Beaked hazelnut (Corylus cornuta) and American hazelnut (Corylus americana) are both native to the U.S. and supposed to be quite cold hardy. The hazelnut commonly grown for commercial production, Corylus avellana, is not as hardy. Badgersett Research Corp has been working on hybrids of the commercial European hazels and native filberts to produce cold hardy, disease resistant productive plants. According to their website they're definitely hardy to Zone 4 and probably to Zone 3.

I can personally vouch for these in zone 4b, and they are the most beautiful hazelnuts you ever saw.
2 years ago

Bryant RedHawk wrote:Well William, you haven't updated this is quite a while but I thought you might like confirmation of your trial method.

Thanks. I haven't had the urge for exposition in some time (my blog is virtually derelict), and you have returned me to my sense of duty. We still have a foot of snow on the ground, so we remain mired in maple season here.
Aside from some pretty scraggly-looking bark on a few branches, the two remaining pears have resumed vegetative growth and have just been pruned with the apples and cherries for this year. My wife Jill, the resident arborist, had to be restrained from radical surgery on the Summer Crisp pear, as the "one-third" rule came into play. The Bartlett has set a few fruit, and the spurs are beginning to multiply; the Sumer Crisp has set none, and is visually the more damaged. I need to refurbish the wraps on this one after the pruning. Last year we dropped two apricots nearby, and they will be watched for signs of trouble.

The Butternut tree that I'm pretty proud of is ready to get more altitude this year, and I should probably put some new wraps on the upper branches before they're out of reach. The bands come apart easily and fall off as they expand.
2 years ago
Don't know how you get the screen bands to the top branches of a 16' tree, but this technique saved two out of three blighted pears, althought they have yet to set a lot of fruit.
We also replanted them on the other side of the house to get them away from the garden, where tomato blight is endemic.
Lots of clouds and moisture around here.
It seems to have worked best on our butternut (white walnut) re-introduction, where the tree that became blighted really recovered nicely, and it's counterpart never got it.
2 years ago

glen summers wrote:
I like to accommodate my neighbors need to hunt and just wander and enjoy the outdoors.  I try to coordinate hunting so we all get a chance to hunt and hopefully kill some deer.  Deer are a horrendous problem here and I need all the help I can get.  My general policy is that anybody is welcome to walk through my property.  I just don’t want them to take anything or leave anything.  Most of them feel the same way.  

It's not surprising that newcomers feel obliged to mark their territory, but I assure you that the best way to dispel the locals unease is to demonstrate a willingness to share. The proliferation of private property signs is something to e deplored. Best to come to an understanding, such as you can pass through my land if I can trespass on yours. Even if you don't want to go there, they'll have a choice to make. They have to put up with you, too.
4 years ago
Trust me. John, the screens are now just as you described. The shiny ones you see in first pictures are dated 2014, when they were new. At any rate, it seems to be working, and I see no downside yet.
4 years ago
solid copper blight treatment update
After two years with copper screen wrap on cankers at outer points on each branch and on the large black tear in the bark at the base of the bole, Butternut A has seemingly recovered, and resumed normal growth.
I had enough confidence to introduce a second sapling, similarly wrapped as a preventive, about a hundred yards away across the poor fen at the tip the next finger of high ground in the muskeg.
Two pears, Bartlett and Summer Crisp, wrapped with copper screen on many of the cankers and base of the bole, leafed out and flowered again, but we'll see if they produce fruitlets, as last year they remained unpollinated, or sterile. Possibly the loss of the third variety, Luscious, resulted in a lack of cross pollinator needed for fruit.
4 years ago
Thanks for the insight, John. I was more worried about too much copper than it wearing off. I do so hope that the treatment continues to prove efficacious on that Butternut, but it makes me wonder how the entire species could die off around here without someone thinking of copper to stop it. On that Forest Service site, they made it sound like you should call them right away if you found one still alive! And thanks to you, too, Miles: my very first apple!

6 years ago
I just clicked on both the links that I put into my earlier post and neither are operative from within this forum. Yet I assure you that my blog exists, and the Forest Service page that I found by googling Butternut cankers is alive and well in my history. Apparently the link feature provided here is unreliable when you just copy and paste a url into your post. Sorry for the presumption.
6 years ago
Yes, I can. Best as I recall, confronted with wide-spread blight on our fruit trees last year, I looked into spray remedies on the internet and found the prospect intimidating and possibly hazardous. After antibiotics, copper sprays seemed to be the treatment of choice commercially, so I turned to materials at hand: left over copper screen from window restorations on our old duplex. As depicted in the initial post here from 2013, I cut small strips the size of the many cankers on the young fruit trees, and simply wrapped them as best I could, as well as a larger, 6" band for the base, as I had gathered in my reading that the fungus travels up and down easily, and can splash up from the soil in the rain. This Spring, two of the infected and treated pears are completely canker-free, and I have removed many of the branch wraps; i have left the base wraps on in case the blight remains present in the soil, but wonder when the copper effect might turn from beneficial to harmful.

When I visited the Butternut for the first time this year after the snow melted, the large ugly canker at the base that had grown ever-larger since appearing shortly after planting, was filled with an alarming black material, which corresponded with the description of the blight that eradicated Butternut from Wisconsin forests as found on the USDA site cited in my last post. With the seeming success of the copper screening on the fruit trees in the orchard near the house, it occurred to me to try it on the apparently doomed Butternut. I wrapped the base and two branch cankers at the beginning of June, and when I took this photo a few days ago, the black gook in the canker at the base was diminished, and the opening seemed smaller. I will monitor this and report further developments as they occur.

As to why any of this is working, you'll have to ask someone with a more specialized knowledge. I might be a lousy scientist, but I seem to be a lucky orchardist. Better lucky than good, my Dad always said.
Too bad you can't see the place. We've been at it three years now and it's coming around.
6 years ago
Last year's experiment of wrapping copper screen on young blighted tree's fungal cankers has apparently saved a heavily cankered Bartlett and Summer Crisp pear, while our affected Luscious pear and a Rainier cherry (both challenges to our zone) treated likewise succumbed to several uncharacteristic -30° days over the winter. An un-cankered Black Tartarian cherry also croaked from the cold; unaffected North Star and Montmorency are doing fine without the wraps.

I have recently applied the wraps to a blighted Compass Cherry plum on the lingering cankers, as well as a Butternut (white walnut Juglans cinerea) that has struggled since we reintroduced it to the north woods of Wisconsin in 2011. I must say that it seems to be succeeding, particularly with the Juglans, which was on the ropes.

As the dose is unmeasured and continuing, any advice on if and when the copper need be removed would be most appreciated.

for photo of Butternut with copper wrap over canker:
fruit tree wraps also depicted in previous posts there
For description of Butternut malady:
6 years ago