I first wrapped the crab apple tree in the barnyard with chicken wire when the sheep and donkeys began eating the bark one winter. They ate so much of the bark, I wasn’t sure if the tree would survive.
But it did.
Last week I noticed that the chicken wire was getting snug around the truck of the tree. So I cut it off and didn’t replace it thinking the sheep and donkeys had enough to eat with the spring grass and would leave it alone for a while.
But this morning I saw that they had been nibbling on it again.
So I got out the four-foot-tall chicken wire I had left over from the fence last year and loosely wrapped it around the crab apple tree, making sure to get the roots covered too.
The sheep and donkey, curious as they are, came out to see what I was doing.
I explained to them that if they continued eating the bark off the tree it would die and then they wouldn’t be able to eat its apple in the fall or sit in its shade in the summer.
Then I realized how arrogant I sounded, a human lecturing animals on how not to destroy nature.
“Well, I thought, this human can at least save this one tree,” and continued twisting the cut ends of the chicken wire around the hexagon-shaped wire to secure it.
The sheep got bored after a while and went back to the barn, but Lulu watched me the whole time I worked on the tree. When I was done she came over and put her nose to the chicken wire then turned and walked away.
I used a couple of the rocks from the old barn foundation to hold down the edges of the chicken wire around the roots. That’s when I saw that a little of the grass seed I threw down last week was sprouting. As I bent down to take a closer look, Issachar, followed by some of the other sheep, came over and started to eat the fine young grass.
I shooed him away and the other sheep followed him back to the barn. They seemed to have discovered the grass for the first time. I’d have to fence the area to keep the animals away from it, but for now, it’s more work than I want to do. When it rains again I’ll throw more seed down and see what happens.
I’m actually delighted that any of the grass is growing at all.
2 thoughts on “News From The Barnyard, The Crab Apple Tree And My Grass Seed”
The chicken wire almost has a dress like quality to it.
Oh I love that KJ. In the past chicken was one of my favorite sculpture materials. But what you said reminds of a dead tree I saw in the woods. The bark had fallen off of it and it was curled around the roots like a dress that was being stepped out of.