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Saturday, March 22, 2008

Dumb tree

One of the most enlightening blogs I've ever read was Don Engebretson at The Renegade Gardener. For the first time in my life I wasn't embarrassed about being a tree killer. Some trees are just meant to be killed.

Our property really is lovely, unfortunately the two previous owners were neither gardeners nor knew a single thing about landscaping. The last owner actually created several huge landscape faux-pas that would cost six figures to fix the way they should have been done.

I don't know who did the original foundation plantings but a Hemlock (Tsuga) was planted about 3 feet (1 meter) from the foundation of the house. Yup, that was smart. Plant a fast growing tree right next to the house and the big front window and see what happens.

Not only did the tree require constant haircuts just so we could see out the window, but it had the worst case of wooly adelgid you could imagine. Don't tell me about sprays, I have an entire property line of infected Hemlocks and would rather save the money for tree removal.

My husband Don took the above shot while I was unaware. I see he captured my best side.

Four hours later, thanks to Don's amazing talent with a Husqvarna chain saw, we can finally see out of our whole living room window. Now if only I could convince him to take those yews down a foot too.

Of course I realize trees aren't dumb. There are just dumb choices of trees planted in dumb locations all too often by dumb people. If you don't know what I mean, I could show you many more dumb examples.


Anna said...

I liked your pretty back side revealed to the whole world--but you don't look pregnant. You'll have to read my blog to understand that.

Your post reminds me of the Griswald's Family Christmas. You just chopped the top right out of that tree---lol. Edenmaker would love this post. She did one on landscaping mistakes and it was funny as all get out. I should take a pic of my neighbor's house. They got 4 massive hollies out front slammed right up against the house. When you look at that house, you say, those hollies have a house. What you should say is--that house has hollies.

Jane Marie said...

I know what you mean about trees. It's always been a pet peeve of mine when trees are planted next to the house. What are they thinking? Maybe they were looking for privacy and shade, but there are better ways. You did the right thing.

Gorden & Planten said...

Ich wünsche ein frohes Osterfest und einen sonnigen Frühling.

Melanie said...

Ok Anna, I always read your blog but I'm still lost on the pregnancy thing. Could it be one of those crazy questions those customers always ask? The crazy comment I got today was a family member announcing at the dinner table that I was getting pretty "busty" lately. I was wondering if they were fishing around to ask if I had surgery (I did not).

Jane marie, I had my husband go out and measure. The remaining stump is 1.5 feet (half a meter) from the house foundation. How's that for idiocy? The previous owners also had curtains that could block the light from a nuclear fall out.

gorden & planten, thanks for the wonderful wishes. I hope you escaped the snow that many Europeans have been getting.

WiseAcre said...

You're right that sometimes a tree has to go no matter how much of a shame it is to cut down. I too always wonder what someone was thinking when they planted it.

Individuals and homeowners can be forgiven. Common sense isn't really common when dealing with unfamiliar things. But I've seen far too many landscapers do the same thing.

Are infected Hemlocks a major problem on Long Island? The place I maintain has the same problem. Every year we cut down a few more. It's just too expensive to go and do them all at once considering the number of them.

Melanie said...

Wise acre, yes, Hemlocks here on Long Island are really infected pretty badly. A few winters ago we had an extremely cold winter and it helped the trees. This year we've had a fairly mild winter and I expect we'll see the worst outbreak of wooly adelgid.

The previous owner here planted little trees under 3 feet (a meter) tall all along the property line. In some places he planted them two by two as if they were marching onto Noah's ark. They are ridiculously close and now they are towering trees with growth on the top 10 feet and bare trunks on the bottom 30 feet. It looks so totally awful but there's got to be 50 or 60 of these trees and that's way too many to take down.

One side is all Hemlocks and they are very close to our house. They are infested with disease and every 6th or 7th one is dead but the trees next to them are holding them upright. What a nightmare. We just wait for a storm to take them down and then finish up the job. Thankfully since they are so tall and slender they don't do much damage when they come down. Three came down this winter, I wish 10 had fallen.