Today’s themes are autograph trees and pigs. Hubby and I spent several hours this weekend working in the stumped block trying to clear away autograph plants and schefflera. We had sprayed a systemic on the trees before they were stumped to help with the coffee leaf rust problem. After the trees were stumped and the cuttings chipped, and with no rain, the area looks pretty brown … the undesired autograph and schefflera plants pop out in their healthy green, so they’re easy to see and remove. We’ll be done soon. Then we can enjoy one moment in time when they were under control in one area. The ‘ulu co-op is almost done with their weed tree removal, so that should also help with the problem (fewer autograph tree and African tulip tree seeds).
Autograph plants are everywhere! In the rocks, the ground, within pockets of the coffee trees, entwined around trees. Our coffee trees are so old, we think some of them might only be standing because of the autograph tree growing from its center or encircling it. J.R., I have not forgotten your request to explain why the autograph tree has its name. The leaves are tough enough — thick, fleshy, dark green, and smooth — that you can carve your autograph into them, and that will last for years. You let these plants take hold and grow, and it won’t be long before you have a monster.
The other undesired greenery that can quickly become a tree are schefflera. Luckily, they are brittle and easy to remove while still relatively small.
The pigs … they’re around pretty much nightly. Lately we’ve been seeing three, either seeing them in real life or caught on camera at night. Three is better than seven (January), which is better than 14 (August). Until we do our electric fence, as the dry season continues and they get more destructive, hubby feels compelled to at least try something to protect what we can. Since the pigs have been re-munching on the coffee seedlings, hubby has gotten rather creative as to how he protects them. Maybe we should call it Bea’s Knees Sculpture Garden.