Warm Snap!

Nice walk on a sunny day

This year’s Christmas break had unusual weather for almost everyone! It brought snow and ice to some people who didn’t expect it and a few who did (like my brother in Vermont). And, it brought “Indian Summer” to those of us in Ohio. Sixty degrees in December doesn’t happen much in Ohio. And neither do the brilliant blue skies you see in the photo. It was a real special treat!

My son, an avid photographer, and I took the opportunity to walk the fields around our house. The “official” purpose of the walk was to check on the trees I’ve planted on the far corners of our farm. But, our unstated goal was just to be together! He’s in college now, and I miss having him around the house.

It’s been exciting and rewarding to see him grow and develop from a child into a peer I enjoy being with. Of course, I have to admit that his so-called “peer” status actually means he’s getting better than me at a lot of things. He now knows more than I do about calculus. He’s stronger and faster, which he’s proven by trouncing me for the first time ever in an arm-wrestling match. He’s leading in the never-ending ping-pong tournament we’ve been playing since 2003.

On top of all the losing in games, I found bad news when we got to the youngest trees in our hardwood lot. You can’t see them very well in this photo, but they’re in among the tall grass.

The discovery

Despite not being able to see the trees, you may be able to see the less than excited look on my face. Nearly all of the 700 young trees have severe damage from rabbits chewing the bark. Probably the whole batch will have to be replanted.

Planting trees has been a way of life for me and my Dad, Jay (Lehman’s founder). In the last 30 years we have between us planted nearly 20,000 trees. We already have about 4,000 trees on order for 2009.

If you’d like to plant some trees this spring, contact your local county extension office. In many cases, tree seedlings are available for just a few cents each. Just remember to plant them away from the rabbits!

Galen Lehman

About Galen Lehman

Lehman's CEO and son of founder Jay Lehman. Homesteads on five acres. Believes in a Simpler Life...rewarding relationships, fresh, local (preferably homegown) food and the gratification of hard work. Plant a tree!

2 thoughts on “Warm Snap!

  1. Those pesky rabbits! This is on my to do list for 2009, add trees to our farm. I am also adding berries of all kinds in an effort to change the way we make a dollar on the farm. However, I stray from the task at hand. What kind of trees did you plant? Were they all the same variety? And how do we get around those rabid rabbits?


  2. Nice to hear from another tree lover! I believe in planting hardwoods because new stands only start if someone plants them (as opposed to a tree like soft maple, that seems to grow almost anywhere) I see slow-growing hardwoods as a lasting legacy and a gift to future generations. Dad planted walnut trees in the late 1970’s that probably won’t be fully mature until he has great-great grandchildren!

    I didn’t used to do this, but now I always plant mixed stands. A mixed stand is more natural plus is more disease and pest resistant.

    As for rabbits, I think the only option is to invest in plastic wraps for young tree trunks. These can be expensive, but of course can be reused. Does anyone have a better idea?