Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Timber!

When we bought this house, one of the things I liked were the trees in the back yard. There were four, one in each corner of the yard, my favorite of which being the river birch. It was tall and slender with that beautiful white bark and cascading branches. What I didn't like was the English ivy planted around it and the fact that the birch was planted too high and blocked the rain from exiting our yard. The grading is such that the surrounding yards all run downhill into our property, then the water is to continue out the back corner and onward to the W and OD Trail, where the old train tracks are. The birch's root ball was blocking the water and our yard would flood every time it rained. I tried several times to remedy these two less than desirable conditions. I mowed the ivy, pulled it, applied weed killer to it - nothing would stop its growth. I tried digging trenches around the tree so the water could exit, but that was unsuccessful as well.
Rain water blocked by tree. It actually would run across the yard and up to the back door!
 Fast forward 11 years and the birch had gotten huge and the ivy was totally out of control, suffocating the majority of its 25-30 feet of height. It was encroaching upon the lawn and the fence and nobody wanted to go near it because it was full of spiders, ticks and who knows what else. The tree just didn't look healthy, with small branches and leaves falling off, leaving bare, dead limbs, so I made the decision to have it taken down. I figured it was best to do it now than to risk it coming down during a storm and causing injury and damage. I would never take down a healthy tree because of its location, but safety is crucial. We soon found out just how critical it was.
Tree gone! You can see how far the ivy has encroached upon the lawn and is even growing up the fence!
The crew arrived, tied off safety lines to control the tree sections' falls and the cutter climbed up to start taking down the highest section. He secured his safety harness and chain saw and when he barely touched the tree - CRACK! The entire top portion, just about at his safety line, snapped off and came crashing down, sending him swinging around the tree and his chain saw hanging from its safety line! Everyone on the crew was shocked, none more than the poor man in the tree! Fortunately, he was a little shaken but uninjured! We discovered that the tree was hollow for several feet, which is what made it so frail. During the removal, they also discovered several empty bird nests as well as a baby dove! These guys were so sweet! They took the baby and placed it in an empty nest in my cherry tree, so that its parents could find it. Sure enough, the next day they had not only located their baby, they had brought its sibling along to join it! Two days later, the entire family was off in search of an early morning breakfast.
Baby doves hanging out in the cherry tree
Now comes the fun part digging out as much of the roots and stump to allow the water to flow freely, removing the leftover ivy and enjoying how much larger our yard looks! I may even plant a little garden in the area!
What a mess! This will take a while to clear out!
Thank you so much for stopping by! I always appreciate your visit!
Hugs, Leena

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