The Accountant's Garden

Scheduled non-accounting weeks: April 10-14, 2017 June 12-16, 2017 July 24-28, 2017

Saturday, May 10, 2003

Today, I have a gardening post - and this one is a big one! Today, we decided to remove the tree in front of our house. It was just way too big for the size yard we have, and its roots were ruining the small patch of lawn. The tree had grown to 25 feet or so after 5 years, with careful pruning and topping. Based on its characteristics, we guessed that the tree was some birch varietal. So yeah, 25 feet tall, bushy, about 24" around at the trunk, and shallow roots. And Rudy, Stewart and I set off to vanquish this foul foe. And what an adventure it has become!

I forgot to take a photo at the very beginning, so you're really missing out on the size of this tree in comparison to our dinky front yard. But here, you can see Stewart removing the side limbs. This part of the tree removal was relatively easy. Stewart had a motorized tree saw, which allowed him to remove all the side limbs before we actually took out the trunk. After removing as many as possible of these limbs with the use of the tree saw and a ladder, he moved on to the 16" electric chainsaw. (BTW, quieter than gas-powered chainsaws, but the teeth became blunt very quickly.) This was used to remove the top-most branches.

I have to say, that up until this point in the project I was a little wary of Stewart's ability to work with living wood. But after seeing him today, wielding that chainsaw like it was his favorite tool, I'm completely impressed. Everything was done just right to bring the tree down safely.

So that was the easy part. Within two hours, we had stripped the tree of limbs and branches, cut down the trunk, and bundled all the green waste debris into the back of the pick-up truck (we rented a Ford F150 to haul our tree trimmings). We had went to the dump, got rid of the waste, and went back home to get ready for round two.

Yes, the hard part. Removing the stump and roots. We initially thought this would be fairly easy, as we knew that most of the roots were at surface level. So, the guys worked with a digging machine and pick-axes, and began to uncover the root structure. It seemed like a good idea at the time. I even chipped in, but being a little smaller and a lot less strong, I was given the chore of locating the roots and just digging a little bit around them.

Too many axes and shovels and the like were being hurled around on the lawn area for my liking, so I decided to work on my own project - one that I've wanted to do since I moved into this house - remove the original developer's landscaping. It consisted primarily of Lily of the Nile and Lantana bushes, and a couple shrubs that I planted. We left those. Everything else got removed. (Sidenote: never, ever plant the Lily of the Nile (aka Agapanthus), as the root structure is obscenely invasive and complex. If you move into a new house and it's been planted, tear it up before it takes over!)

More later...I have to go meet some friends.


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