Thursday, January 2, 2020
No More Hops Hat!
Let us revisit the saga of the viney tree.
You may remember this tree, growing on our street, that had been almost entirely consumed by a hops vine. I took the photo above in early October, around the time I finally resolved to do something to save the poor tree. In November, I got out on the street with a pair of secateurs and a chair (and eventually a borrowed ladder) and removed most of the vine.
We were left with this. I just couldn't reach that top bit, which I called the "Hops Hat" and which stubbornly sat atop the tree for the next two months.
I was determined to remove it too, but I needed a perfect storm of circumstances. First, I needed a free day when I didn't have to go to work. Second, I needed the parking space beneath the tree to be vacant -- a rarity on our street, where parking is at a premium. And third, I needed access to a taller stepladder.
Well, wouldn't you know it, the perfect storm struck yesterday. While walking Olga in the morning I noticed the parking space was empty. So I borrowed a ladder from Mrs. Kravitz and enlisted Dave's help to hold it while I climbed up and pulled off the remaining vine.
It took about an hour, because even dead, that hops vine was stubborn. But eventually, we were left with...
...a perfectly good cherry tree, cleared of hops and ready to bloom in the spring and leaf out in the summer. I can't wait to see what it looks like later in the year, now that it's finally able to breathe free. And don't worry -- I'll be vigilant so the hops won't grow back.
What a good start to 2020! This project has been nagging at me for months, and I'm so glad to finally have it finished. I've been corresponding with the council's tree officer about it, so now I'll write him and tell him it's done. Whew!