I thought that I would update everyone on the Charlie Brown pear tree today. It's doing really well! Several weeks after we traumatized it new leaves and branches sprouted out, which we diligently watched for any signs of fire blight. Fire blight likes to infect new growth, so this was a critical stage for the tree. So far though, the tree has been totally healthy.
As you can see, we planted some friends around the tree. We put it them there to try and help manage the amount of water the tree was getting. We have an automatic sprinkler system that turns on every day and sprays then entire front area with water. Too much water I think for the Charlie Brown tree, so I stuck large rocks right in front of the sprinklers so they wouldn't deluge the poor thing and we planted little plants there so that the water would get absorbed faster.
The challenge for us now will be to make sure that it has a healthy enough root system to make it through the winter. It's my understanding that a tree (or any plant for that matter) needs to have well established root system in order to come back every spring, so it'll be important that we manage the amount of water it gets well and apply a good layer of mulch in the autumn so that the roots don't freeze over the winter.
It's a good feeling when something you've done actually worked! I'll be honest, I think that I kind of have a brown thumb when it comes to plants. One year when I was younger, my brother and I pruned the blueberry bushes on my dad's farm. The emphasis on the last statement should be on the "one year" part because after he saw the job we did, he never had us do it again. We went after them like we were making banzai blueberry trees. Productive bushes they were not; minimalist statements of austere beauty they were. Maybe though, that's what made me so good at cutting up the Charlie Brown tree in the first place...
Anyway, back to the good feeling, moments like this make me feel like Chrissie and I can handle the entire gardening thing and that maybe we aren't totally in over our heads. Of course, it's not all us. It's a good thing plants know how to take care of themselves on some level too.