Friday, June 10, 2016

Lessons of a Tree

We needed a new roof on our house.  It hasn't started to leak yet, but it's getting old, and we felt it was better to be proactive while both of us were still working.

Little did we know the unintended consequences.

We got two estimates.  We picked an experienced roofing company.  When their people came out to do the job preparations, we were told a tree near the house was in their way, with branches hanging over the roof.  They strongly recommended it be removed.

My baby.

It's hard to see my baby, but it is the slightly darker tree in the front of the house.  It was a baby tree when we moved into the house, nearly 30 years ago.  We protected it with a bungee cord that held it upright and helped it grow our first year or two in the house.   But now, it had to go.

Its time had come.

My spouse had worked a college summer job for a tree service so knew how to do this job, but needed help.  My grown son and a friend attached ropes to it. The saw came out, (you can barely see it but my son is in the upper floor window). 

The tree was cut away enough to allow the workmen to work.  But, the following weekend, it had to be cut down completely.

I love my plants (well, most of my plants).  I couldn't even watch it fall.

But it did need to go.  It had gotten too big, and had been planted too close to the house.  It was actually endangering our house, or would have down the road.

Sometimes, when things are small, we say "isn't it cute" and don't think about what happens when something is fully grown, and not that cute.

All gardeners need to learn how to prune and to thin - to take out excess so that surviving plants can flourish.  In a way, that is what we did last month with "my baby".

I understand that.

But I will still miss it.

18 comments:

  1. Oh yes, I have removed several trees that got too big, too close to the house. My project this year is to remove all the yews around the deck (done), plant hostas (done), and then clean and re-stain the deck (this weekend). After 44 years in my home, there is a lot of re-freshing to do.

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    1. Same for us (and it isn't 44 years, either). I fear other trees will have to go, too.

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  2. Yes, the trauma of removing a tree. We had one (in the house i finally gave up, since there was only 1 of me in a 6 bedroom abode) that was about 100 years old and towered over my house- and my neighbors. After one windstorm when a bough was blown off (and carried 25 feet), our arborist recommended (as in DEMANDED) we remove the potential public hazard....

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    1. A neighbor told us a tree in our front yard looks be be partially rotten. That one was already an adult when we bought the house, and will need a tree service. Its branches are too close to the power line to be a do it yourself project, even with my spouse's knowledge.

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  3. WOW--that thing got huge! I can see why it had to go. Did you have any idea it would grow that big when you planted it?

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    1. No idea. The people who owned the house before us must have planted it. They only owned the house for a year when they had to move. It was literally just a baby.

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  4. We back up to woods and recently had to have some of the trees taken down because they were actually leaning too far towards our house. I knew it had to be done, but I hated seeing them go.

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    1. Sounds like many of us had similar experiences, alas.

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  5. When I was growing up, my dad had us plant a few hundred trees on our acre. We really wanted to plant some next to the house, but I'm glad that we didn't. Even after 10 years, we could see a difference.

    Mary
    Jingle Jangle Jungle

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    1. Those trees fool you when they are young. Happy you had that much room. We have a tiny city lot.

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  6. We had to take down a tree that was growing to close to the house as well. It produce mulberries which I love. But it had to go.

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    1. That sounds like a sad time. And the birds must miss it, too.

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  7. Trust me. Painful as it was, you did the right thing. My mother got to he skylight she always wanted when, during a very bad winter storm, the oak tree next to our house, the one that was taller than the house, dropped one of its massive branches onto our roof.

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    1. Ouch! I hope only the roof was hurt. And now, a neighbor told us a tree in our front yard looks be be partially rotten. That one was already an adult when we bought the house, and will need a tree service. This may be an interesting year.

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    2. Fortunately it was just the roof. Branch took down part of the chimney too. Very messy. And scary.

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  8. We had to do this too! It is so hard to watch your favorite tree, one that has shielded your house from the sun and been there forever get cut down..

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    1. It was hard, yes. And now, a neighbor told us a tree in our front yard looks be be partially rotten. That one was already an adult when we bought the house, and will need a tree service. I suspect this will be the Year of the Downed Tree for us.

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  9. I understand your sadness, but that tree looks like it was way too close to the house from those pics. I can just imagine one major windstorm might take out half your house.

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