Thursday, September 8, 2016

Before/After (sort of) landscaping

We inherited a bunch of dead/dying trees and bushes that had just run their course. The list was twice as long as what our budget would allow so we only did the front yard and one dead ash in the back forest that, if it fell, could really cause problems. We have several other apple trees that just are not salvagable as well as a few more ash trees in the side forest that we'll take down later.

First on the chopping block are these two dying evergreens and the clumps of overgrown juniper bushes that mark the end of the driveway. Those bushes were such a hazard as you could not see if cars were coming. Granted, it's not a busy street but I still didn't like the idea of the girls riding their bikes and not being able to see if a car was coming.

Ditto for the matching juniper bushes at the other end of the driveway as well as the huge forsythia bush in front of one of the junipers. The pink dot on the crabapple meant that it was up for consideration but since it's fairly small, Len and I think we might be able to cut it down ourselves....
Next up was the giant cedar tree that is inches away from the garage.

And this dead scrub tree next to the cedar.
All of our apple trees are in very bad shape. Since this one is in the front and drops wormy apples all over our driveway, it made the cut.
Another view of the ill-fated junipers and forsythia bush.
This ash tree is huge and, although it isn't near the house, it is near the firepit and where the girls play so we opted to take it down rather than risk it falling in a storm.  Apparently there is some sort of blight that has killed off most every ash tree in this area. All over the woods you see huge dead trees which is so sad.
They got right to work on the evergreens first.
Tree #1 from Lisa on Vimeo.

Tree #2 from Lisa on Vimeo.

When the girls got home from school, we counted the rings on the evergreens and found out that they were about 27 years old. It was a great lesson in seeing which years had more rain and which years were dry and how that affected the ring size. 

After the junipers and forsythia were dispatched, next up was the apple tree.
The cedar. Boy, does that smell wonderful now over by the garage!
To tackle the ash, he climbed up first to get some of the top out.

While up there, he tied a rope around it so the other two guys could pull it in the right direction as he cut.
Tree #3 from Lisa on Vimeo.

Last, it was time to trim the sugar maple away from the house. 
Before cutting the branch nearly hitting our windows...
 And after.
Unfortunately, the stump grinder stopped working so they will have to come back to grind all of those down. In the meantime, looks like we have a lot of firewood to split and stack!
No more blindspots in our driveway! Next spring I will work on landscaping it again. That will give me the winter to figure out what to do. Kate has been coddling a baby oak tree that she got at Eco Day back in June. It's doing quite well in its pot but we need to find a place to plant it soon so it can harden in the winter. We'll also have to surround it with chicken wire to keep the deer from munching it!
The apple wood will make great firewood.
We counted the rings on the ash tree and it looked to be about 40 years old.
Once all the sawdust had settled, the deer came in the evening to eat the apples from the backyard trees. The fawns have all lost their spots and all the deer's coats are turning from brown to gray in preparation for winter.

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