25 June 2024

Once Upon a Tree-t

The giant shade tree in our backyard had to come down last week. There will be no more branches falling unexpectedly on our roof, and, hopefully, this will put an end to plumbing issues beneath our foundation. It was such a difficult (and expensive!!!) choice to make, but it had to be done. Nevertheless, there are many, many pleasant memories.

You couldn't even see the tree from the front yard when we first bought the house!

It was kind of fun but also sad to look up old house photos to remember our great source of shade.

our neighbors' cell phone shot from their window

And what a haven it was for wildlife...

house finch

my neighbors' cell phone shot through their window

Our neighbors set up a shaded chair in their backyard so Lizard could safely watch the tree come down.

The tree cutters happily provided several branches for the neighbor to cut up for camp firewood. The branches were set up along the neighbors' back fence to dry in the sun.

I would have loved to claim some of the thin slices from the trunk. I think they would have made great crafts. But I haven't had time to sew or crochet, so I let the crew chip everything the neighbors didn't take.

The entire process took about five hours. At the end of the project, the crew told us this was a very difficult tree to remove.

They went from the bottom up to remove branches.

The limbless tree itself was leveled from the top down in small segments.

Birds were having a fit while the tree was coming down. I suspect there may have been a nest somewhere in all the debris. However, the workers did not find one. Perhaps the birds were just complaining about human development the way we do...

We elected to have the stump drilled to make sure the roots don't continue to infringe upon the pipes below our house.

I knew before the job started a few plants might be lost. Landscaping bricks were moved. Drainage pipes were removed. I didn't realize flagstone would be broken. All water beneath the bridge now; nothing I can do but clean and repair. And replant. Resulting sawdust is going to take a good long while for us to collect and move.

I was asked if I want to keep the sawdust. We live on clay, which is part of the problem with our foundation. Some of the terracing I've done during the last four years has already begun to slide down the slope. Sawdust will be a very welcome addition to the soil. It won't completely transform the clay, but it can add temporary stability.

Autumn clean-up in our yard will be easier without this mammoth leaf producer. But autumn also will be much less colorful in our backyard.

Our weather has been hotter than Hades, but we got a brief break from the high 90s, and I replaced the relocated bricks and replanted them with mature flowers I bought just in case I might need to start over.

It's going to take time, patience and effort, but soon, my backyard will be a wildlife haven and a (hopefully shaded) peaceful place for us to enjoy once again. (We have trellis ideas on the drawing board now. I'm thinking blue and purple clematis...)

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