Tracy Diller

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since Dec 31, 2019
Lake Whatcom and the Acme Valley Washington State
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Recent posts by Tracy Diller

Thanks Timothy.  I appreciate the info on the 2nd season.  
8 months ago
We just started our Turkey adventure with the purchase of a mating pair of bourbon reds.  They were hatched last September and raised in a pen for 8 months.
I brought them home a couple weeks ago and immediately trimmed one wing.
We moved them into our chicken pen and they sleep outside under the shed roof while the chickens sleep in the coop.
We let the turkeys watch the chickens be released to the fenced pasture everyday.  After 5 days I altered the passage of the pen to the pasture so that it was decreased in size so that only the chickens and the turkey hen could get through.
After 3 days I removed the barrier so the Tom could pass.  
They all come and go as they please now and the turkeys come into the pen at night for lock up.
8 months ago
Hi, We too use wood chips.  We dump the pile and spread it out about 4 inches thick.  Liquid fish manure helps out a lot if you have it but watering is essential.  The new chips need to stay moist for a good couple of seasons.  The first thing I plant are legumes like clover and I plant it immediately.  It will grow and die back so just keep planting it.  A nice variation that we did recently was planting mustard and brassicas in the chips as a crop for next years green mulch.  It has thrived and and the bees as well as the animals love it.  We walk along the trails and take small bites of the buds occasionally.  They are wonderful.  This is on one year old wood chips here in the Pacific NW.
8 months ago
Hi Francis, yes it is that simple.   Find a suitable branch that you want to use as a scion.   Make sure it has at least 3 dormant buds. Then cut several inches below the lowest bud.
Find a drill bit that is just about the same diameter.  Drill into the trunk where you want the scion to go.
Here is the important part.   The larger the scion the deeper the hole.  So I placed my scions into the trunks about 4 inches deep.  I know the scion needs to self support itself so the deeper insert regulations that. Then strip the bark from the scion as deep as the hole is in the trunk.   Try putting some nail polish or paint at the 4 inch point on the drill and this will help for depth consistency and lining up the cambrian of the trunk to the scion.
Then simply and gently tap the scion into the hole in the trunk.
Stop tapping when the cambrian no longer is visible.
Spray the scion and the trunk around the area of penetration..
Your done.
As a alternative I also took rooting hormone on ½ off the scions and simply drove them in with the powder on it.
As of today I see no benefit...yet.
You will find some of your drilled holes too narrow so if they don't go in easily with gentle taps stop, remove the scion and drill it again but wobble the drill bit slightly.
Just a technique that I am sure you will improve on.
Good luck
Ps the paint is a spray on tree pruning sealer.
8 months ago
We too have a very large riparian area here in the PNW.  The usda program we chose to rent to pays us not to allow any farm animals inside the fencing they put up on our lands.   180 feet from the water I believe is where the fence lies.  Most animals can get over or under it like the elk or the beavers.
Bottom line is the government paid us for a lease not to use this land for anything other than hunting and fishing.  It was marginal farm lands anyways so we felt it was a fair lease.
And I can attest that land is full of scat making it a true wildlife corridor.
The government should open the leases up to everyone in riparian areas not just the choice lands.   This might go a long way to mending fences and making a bitter rule less so.
Just my to cents.
8 months ago
The alder here grows fast like the maples and often fall hard in the first winds of fall of they still have leaves on them.
I was successful in grafting hazelnuts onto them.   I plan to increase the amount of grafting of hazel nuts onto our alders here.  They will still function as alders but will increase the forest food supply greatly.  
8 months ago
Here are a few other pictures of the grafted alder trees
8 months ago
I was until last week I wasn't sure these hazel nut scions branches were going to take.  Now I am looking forward to decreasing the height of these two alder trees and making plans to install several more small branches this winter.  These nuts will be for our forest friends.

Birches are next.
8 months ago
I also found that this type of propagation allows for a very hardy and thick scion to be plugged in.  Thus allowing a shorter and more heavy limbed tree that usually takes many years to develop.
This winter I will be placing scions from frost peaches and nectarines I purchased from cloud mountain cloud mountain 10 years ago.
9 months ago
So I severely cut back this wild plum tree last fall.  This winter I drilled and placed tightly fitting scions from a large red plum (on one cut off limb)  and a large yellow Japanese plum (on another cut off limb).
I simply sealed them with a spray on coating for trees.
The idea is to lose more of these height of the tree this fall and do this again.
After a couple years I will see a short robust tree that will set heavy fruit on thick limbs in the next couple years.
My other project like this is very similar but is grafting hazel nut scions onto several year old or mature native alders.
They too are leafing out now and I will post pictures in the next couple days.
9 months ago