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Last Week in the Cemetery (Week of August 22)

Posted September 1, 2022 by M.S. Coyne


Last week in the Cemetery was PLEASANT and COOL in the morning.


It was a mowing and trimming week. We took advantage of the dry weather to start cutting back the Daylilies, which are past bloom. We have an abundance of Daylilies in African Cemetery No. 2 because we planted them to crowd out grass between markers. Other than that, here is no particular reason why some markers have Daylilies and others do not. However, years of trimming have shown that Daylilies between markers do not reduce the required trimming significantly and have the disadvantage of obscuring the epitaphs when they grow too big. So, we will be slowly removing these Daylilies over the next few weeks to allow the sod to grow back. Don’t worry; there will be more than enough flowers in summer. We will keep the Daylilies growing in back of the markers and on the sides of markers(either the last ones in a row or isolated markers) because in these spots they DO make trimming easier, and more importantly, allow faster mowing around markers without the risk of damage.


Speaking of mowers, there was a near brush with disaster when a bracket sheared and fell between the pully and the rubber belt driving the blades. Smoke coming from the mowing deck is never a good sign. But after a quick stop and investigation – and some frantic blowing to remove smoldering debris – the mowing was finished. Hopefully no substantial damage to the pulley and belt occurred that will affect the rest of the mowing season. When a mower is 10-years-old, you can expect parts to fail. Time to start

thinking about a new mower.

We had an extremely successful pruning demonstration and work day sponsored by Trees Lexington. Over 20 participants came and pruned most of our younger trees and some older specimens. During the demonstrations we learned: the importance of keeping a good mulch layer around the base of younger trees to promote roots, inhibit weeds, and improve water availability; the difference between ‘head cuts’ and ‘end cuts;’ the importance of identifying a ‘leading’ branch on trees with multiple branches, and how to prune to gradually suppress side branches to promote the dominance of the leader. We also got useful identification of some of our tree species.

They’ll be an interesting pruning experiment with one of the Plum Blossom trees in the front of the cemetery. Last year one tree had so many dead and dying branches it was cut back to a stump. The

stump subsequently spouted new shoots that have now been trimmed back to make a respectable if odd looking bush again. We’ll be watching closely to see how well it responds to continued

maintenance.


A few of the trees have started to show a change to fall colors, but we still have a few weeks to go before we learn if the Summer drought will make the Fall foliage spectacular. If you look closely you can see nuts on some of the Black Walnuts, Black Oaks, Ohio Buckeyes, and Hazelnuts. One of our OSAGE ORANGES (Hedge Apples) has also started to set fruit.

Remember that if you or your group would like to contribute a few hours of service maintaining African Cemetery No. 2, please contact Mark Coyne at mscoyn00@gmail.com to plan a visit.


As always, feel free to visit African Cemetery No. 2 any time.






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