03December 20, 2018

We haven’t had the big snowstorm yet, and there is still time to do some of the outdoor work. Yes, it may be cold, but things need to get done.

Have you raked up all the leaves? The oak trees are always the last trees to drop their leaves. You really should get them off the lawn and away from the side of the house. If you need a reason for getting those piled-up leaves away from the house, they do make a nice home for a mouse to spend the winter.

In many areas, the ground is reasonably thawed out. This means that the moles and voles can be tunneling in your lawn. Thawed soil will allow the moles and voles to tunnel in your lawn all winter. Unfrozen soil that becomes covered in snow is a mole’s best friend because they will continue to dig tunnels under the snow. The snow actually helps keep the soil thawed enough for the moles and voles to tunnel all winter. If you apply a mole and vole repellent now, it should help discourage the moles and voles from tunneling in your lawn the rest of the winter.

We have been selling Christmas trees at the store. We have found that putting a fresh cut on the bottom of the tree has become harder to do because of the buildup of sap on the saw blade.

You may not be cutting Christmas trees, but the pruners and saws that you have probably have a buildup of sap. You can use rubbing alcohol to loosen up the sap, and then you can use sandpaper or a wire brush to remove the sap. We have been using a wire brush attached to a battery-operated drill. It does a nice job of removing the sap from the saw, making it easier to cut those tree stumps. If you clean your cutting tools now, you will find that any pruning you need to do this winter or in the early spring will be a much easier chore.

Let’s change the subject a bit. If you have a Christmas tree in your home, are you filling the tree stand each day? Trees will initially take up a gallon of water per day. If you have a small stand that holds a half-gallon of water, you may need to fill the stand twice per day.

It is critically important that you don’t let that water level drop below the bottom of the trunk. If it does, the trunk will seal off, and the only way you can get the tree to take up water will be to take the tree out of the stand and put a fresh cut on the bottom of the trunk. If you want that tree to last in your home, please keep up with the process of checking and filling the tree stand.

Next Tuesday is Christmas Day. To all of you who celebrate, have a Merry Christmas.

I’ll talk to you next week.

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