Every fall for about four years now, I've wandered the forest around our cabin in Ely and stapled small rectangles of newsprint around the tippy top of the smaller white pines. This tippy top is called the "apical meristem," and tucked inside those needles are the starting buds for next year's most critical growth: upward.
The problem is, the deer eat everything they can when winter rolls around, and those little buds are packed full of energy ready to spring out next year. Our property had hundreds of stilted little white pines, all about a foot tall and three feet wide, trying desperately to grow tall but beaten back every winter by deer browse.
Just stapling the bit of paper over the bud, however, seems to deter the deer. Each year now, these poor pines on our property have gotten taller. It fills me with pride to be able now to actually leave some trees uncapped, since they've grown so tall.
Given all this positive energy for growing things straight and tall, I had to giggle when I found this photo as I prepared for this blog post. Note the ad in the upper left. Speaking of growing things...