Friday, January 20, 2023

Adventures in Tree Trimming

This was the scene yesterday afternoon as the tree trimmers were tidying up. I don't have a good "before" shot from this angle to show you, but we're now seeing a lot more sky in the center of the garden. The branches of the walnut tree (in the left foreground) and the hazel (on the right) used to meet in the middle. The squirrels loved it -- it was their highway -- but the roses and other plants down below needed more light.

So we've disrupted the Squirrel Autobahn. But believe me when I say it looks much better out there. Unless you're a squirrel.

This was the walnut tree before the trimming began. You can barely see the tassels of the hazel to the right, and how the branches meet.

And this is it afterwards. The tree trimmers took some height off the top as well as removing branches that stretched out over the roses. In addition to getting more light to the garden, we wanted to keep the tree balanced. You can only barely tell from this angle, but the tree leans quite a bit toward the house, and I wanted to lighten the crown for safety's sake.

They also trimmed some of the growth that extended over the fence onto Mrs. Kravitz's property. I thought she'd appreciate that. She's always urging us to cut this tree down, which I would never do. (She hates the falling nuts and leaves.)

The whole process was pretty painless, though I was nervous as a cat. And these aren't even really my trees! Olga and I stayed out of the trimmers' way, and I peeked out every once in a while to see how they were getting on. Afterwards, as I praised their work, I noticed that the walnut was dripping. I thought it was melting ice from our frosty morning, but no -- it was sap.

"It's bleeding," one of them said matter-of-factly. Which didn't make me feel any better. He assured me it would stop in a day or two.

The snowdrops survived unscathed, as well as almost all the other bulbs and plants. Some of the roses got broken by falling branches but we'll cut them back in a month or so anyway, so it doesn't matter. One broom plant got broken off, but that's no big deal.

The tree crew also trimmed the mock orange (Philadelphus), which you can see pre-haircut behind them in the photo above, as well as the monster over the patio. That's been cut back all the way to the fence and it looks like a dissected lung, with airways and blood vessels exposed. It grows quickly and will look green in no time come spring.

I'm glad to have the work done. Now I'm wondering if we shouldn't have had them tackle the "wildlife area" at the very back of the garden, where there are two old elder trees burdened with ivy. Some day those are going to collapse and I don't want to be here when they do. But I feel like that's a landlord job, and besides, I really DO like leaving that area for the birds and squirrels.

I left the trimmers after the bulk of the work was done, and hustled to work for the last two hours of my shift. (That enabled my co-workers to go home at their usual time rather than staying late to close, which is usually my task.) Then I came home, locked up the garden gate and that was that.

Now, when the weather gets warmer, Olga should have many more opportunities for sunbathing!


gz said...

A job well done.

Moving with Mitchell said...

They did a beautiful job shaping the walnut. I think you're going to enjoy the more open and sunny space. So many opportunities for new plantings!

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Those guys did a good job. Don't forget to send the bill to your landlady. I'm surprised that Mrs Kravitz doesn't like overhanging nuts.

Ms. Moon said...

You're going to get so much more sun! Just lovely. And I am sure that the trees are happy to be shed of the deadweight. They can stretch and yawn as spring comes along and make new growth unhindered.

Boud said...

Nice job on the trees. I thought Mrs K lived overhead? She also has a backyard! We had a resident here in the development who campaigned to have three healthy evergreens cut down because she got needles and pinecones on her patio. She didn't get far.

The Bug said...

My dad had his pecan trees cut down a couple of months ago (they had stopped bearing fruit and made a HUGE mess on his roof that he wasn't able to manage anymore). I was so sad about it because they shaded his sun room & made it such a nice green place to sit. However, after they were gone all I noticed was how nice & open everything was - I ended up loving it. (Ask me again in summer though.)

Ellen D. said...

Good job! I am glad you are happy with it and it will nice to see what effect it will have on your garden this spring.

Linda Sue said...

Better go out and say sweet apologetic things to that walnut. Such trauma!

Janie Junebug said...

I wouldn't cut down a tree, either, unless it absolutely had to be done. Mrs. Kravitz can just deal with the falling nuts. Congratulations on a big task completed. I'm glad they did a good job.


Ed said...

I trim my trees while they are small and growing but once they get big, they are on their own until it is time for them to come down. But I have 100+ trees in my lawn and if I only had one or two, I might take your approach.

NewRobin13 said...

Looks like they did a good job there. More sunlight and blue sky!

ellen abbott said...

I need to get an arborist out here to tidy up the two enormous oaks on the west side of the house. They shade my roses in the front which don't bloom nearly as well as they used to.

Pixie said...

The yard will be nice with more sun. We're in the process of removing dead or dying trees in our yard. We have a small yard with twelve trees orginally. I dug up one myself, it wasn't too big, and two dead aspens have been removed. We're also cutting down a dying mayday tree, to be replaced by an apple tree. The hardest part about the mayday tree is that it must all be burned because of the black knot fungus growing on it. It takes a long time to but up and burn an entire tree in a small, backyard firepit, but we're getting there.

Sharon said...

It looks like they did a good job and it also looks like it was quite a big job. You should get lots more sunshine now. You will have to let us know if the squirrels file any complaints.

The Padre said...

Sunbath On My Friends


Red said...

Having any tradesmen in to do a job is nerve wracking but things have to be done. I sounds like you had a good crew to do the work.

Bob said...

I sure the flora and the fauna will love the extra light!

John Going Gently said...

We’re they expensive ?

Kelly said...

How nice that's done now! I bet you're excited about what the summer will bring now with all the extra light!

Andrew said...

The pruners sound competent. What more could you ask for. They worked under a lovely blue sky.

sparklingmerlot said...

It will be interesting to see how the garden reacts to more light. A bleeding tree. How sad. At least they didn't say it was crying.

Margaret said...

It looks so much neater and less cluttered. Mari says to tell you that she's rarely nervous but she makes other people thus. ;)

Steve Reed said...

GZ: I thought so!

Mitchell: I agree. They preserved the basic shape of the tree.

YP: We're splitting the bill. I don't want to know anything about Mrs. K's penchant (or not) for nuts.

Ms Moon: Yes, it IS good for the trees as well. I have to keep reminding myself of that!

Boud: No, Mrs. K lives next door. The Russians live overhead. It's a lot to keep track of, I know!

Bug: Pecans are beautiful but they are so messy, and when they get old they do get brittle. So I can see why he took them down, sad as it is.

Ellen D: Yeah, I'm eager to see how the plants respond!

Linda Sue: I know, the poor thing! I'll tell it what Ms Moon said.

Janie: A tree is a sacred thing, as far as I'm concerned, but some people treat them like furniture or something that can be immediately replaced.

Ed: Yeah, if we had more space I wouldn't care. But if this tree falls on the house we're toast! So we want to keep it reined in a bit!

Robin: They did indeed!

Ellen: It's worth it, but it's expensive.

Pixie: Ugh, that fungus sounds like a nightmare. (I had to look up a "mayday tree" to see what it is!)

Sharon: It was a big job. The squirrels will hate it I'm sure.

Padre: Happiest dog in the world!

Red: Yeah, I was very happy with these guys.

Bob: I think so!

John: Short answer, yes. But it's London, so everything costs more here.

Kelly: I am excited to see whether our plants respond. Especially our hollyhocks.

Andrew: I would even say skilled!

Caro: LOL! I dunno, bleeding is pretty bad. :)

Margaret: Yeah, where does that expression come from? Cats really aren't THAT nervous.

Jeanie said...

I'm expecting tree trimmers soon -- the utility company comes and cuts down branches or trees potentially affecting power lines. Sometimes they do a grim job of it. But the good part is more light in the back. That's quite the mess!