Yard Reclamation

September 6, 2011 § 5 Comments

Maybe it’s a mistake to be showing this “before” photo – with its gorgeous sunset – in comparison to the “after” shots of today. Mainly because I don’t want you to think I’m a bush and tree hacker/murderer. But the wildness in my yard has begun to take over, roots endangering the septic system and foliage thick and dense tall enough to block the view and the light which I cherish so much.

Rhododendron in foreground - Coastal Spruce filling the middle

So I called on men with power saws. They took out three taller-than-the-roof-top Junipers at the northwest corner of the house . . .

removal of 3 Juniper trees - wasn't quick enough to get the "before" shot

. . . and yes – the full-on rhodie bush as well, ย which I’d never understood why it had been planted in front of the living room windows in the first place. Rhodies naturally grow as tall as trees which means to keep them like shrubs over 40 years they are constantly being cut back and cut back. I couldn’t bear it. I had them take it out. Bzzz!

I know - it's shocking - sudden - better for the septic - essential for the view

The young Madrone tree is gone now too. You may remember it from a May blog.

Coastal Spruce - needle sharp needles!

Last but not least – a shave for the spruce. When I moved in ten years ago this tree was only a bit taller than the Hanselman tree guys you see here. But its roots were as big around as a human thigh. It had been topped many times I’m sure. The entire yard and everything growing in it had been covered (for at least ten years before me) in 6 ml black plastic – the kind that never rips or shreds and I’m sure never biodegrades either. I didn’t know this at first. The plastic was covered with four inches of bark – the kind that grows moss and mold as it decays after a couple years.

You get two layers of life then. One in the bark soil for all the seeds the birds and wind can carry (which is my lovely “meadow” that you see in the photos), and one under the plastic where the soil looks like volcanic ash after so many years of no water no sun no nutrients.

One day as I cut away the plastic from the spruce trunk I actually cried out to see its roots. They were like something from Night of the Living Dead. Pale and rubbery like flesh. Essentially they’d been buried alive. Hundreds of tiny shoots ten, twenty feet long or more, had grown in this darkness from the main roots looking for water.

“low limbing” the Spruce

Sunset Spruce - September 6, 2011

And WOW look at it now!

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