Two weekends ago, I finally accepted defeat and admitted that the California Sycamore I hoped might stage a miraculous comeback was actually gone for good. Despite careful attention, the two year old tree seemed to be dead as a doornail.
My disappointment at this failure was soothed a little by the fact that we scored a new Sycamore for free at the annual Department of Sanitation Open House. Thanks Million Trees LA! (If you're wondering why we were attending an open house for the Department of Sanitation, I will remind you that I have a 3-year-old boy who loves garbage trucks.)
This time around, I am determined that the tree will survive. When we dug up the old one, I saw the roots had not spread very far. This is probably due to the terrible, hard, rocky soil in that part of the backyard. We dug a pretty big hole to plant the last Sycamore, but clearly it wasn't big enough.
This time around, we dug an extra extra large hole for the new tree and mixed some grow mulch into the soil. I also tried to build up a good berm on the downhill side to keep water from draining away before it can soak in. I also need to stake it a little straighter once I get my hands on some good, sturdy stakes.
Summer is not the greatest time to plant a new tree, but I couldn't pass up the free tree and I figure it usually doesn't get really blistering hot until August. I plan to water it deeply once a week-ish at first, and see how that goes. Fingers crossed that this one makes it.