Archive for April, 2011

The tree has left the building!

April 18, 2011

Yesterday afternoon Sweet Boyfriend brought over his son and daughter-in-law to dispatch of the Damn Tree. I’ve chosen to capitalize here because the thing has taken on a life and personality of its own. They began with a few initial cuts with the bow saw. Before long, they were moving on to the big boys, using the little chainsaw I bought for the occasion.

As each branch came down, we all dove in to cut it into little pieces. That part was an amazing process to watch. It took us no time at all to sort out who had which job, and we made quick work of it!

Before long, we came to the most difficult phase of the project. Elimination of the main trunk. That was a bit of a challenge with my baby saw.

I didn’t expect this to be the most complicated part – but it was. Eventually, it was dispatched, and we were left with THIS!

Now I’ve just got to work on those roots crawling all over my yard. But, I’ve eliminated a few already, and I have a battle plan. It will probably take most of the summer, but they’ll be history soon, too!

I took the combatants to dinner to celebrate. And then I went home and stood in my yard and just stared at the stump for a while. What am I going to complain about NOW?

I figure something will come along in no time at all! 🙂

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And the Tree Goes On

April 15, 2011

First, let’s catch up. The photo above is the final version of the flower bed I was working on earlier. It was a BEAR getting those stumps out. But, finally, the last one was history, and I put in decorative grasses, two spirea, a climbing rose and some begonias. What happened to the caladiums and hydrangea, you might ask? I know you’re dying to find out!

Well! We had a little storm last week. When I came home, another third of the tree was lying on the ground. Once again, I dodged the bullet. No damage to my house or the neighbor’s house. But, it was obvious at that point. The tree had to go. So did all those shade-loving plants I had purchased. Luckily, Lowes is friendly about returns. I got more tools to assist in tree (and tree root) removal – and some sun-loving plants.

So, that’s where I was. Waiting for the weekend when I could – with any luck – recruit some help to get that tree down all the way. And then there was Monday night….

This is what I woke up to Tuesday morning. It was not a storm. Just a little wind. Not much at all. This illustrates just how dangerous that tree had become. I had to get the thing out of the street and away from my mailbox. I have a very grumpy mailperson. Ahem! So, I hauled out my new saws and choppers and took care of what I could. However, when it was all said and done, the thing that was bothering me was this:

That’s a very large, heavy limb you’re looking at. It was balancing precariously on a smaller limb, with part of its weight supported by skinny little branches on the ground. I was afraid that one touch would send everything crashing down on my head! What to do? What to do?

I did nothing.

Sweet Boyfriend is really, really sick this week. He’s the victim of some medical malpractice, but I won’t go into THAT right now. It’s sufficient to say that I’ve been bouncing between both houses and work, trying to keep him medicated and looked-after while maintaining my job and house. And not doing a very good job at any of it. So, the long and short of it is, I had no male assistance with this project. And, oh yeah…the guy across the street did WATCH me work for a while. A$$!

Wednesday is trash day. I knew the city would pick up all the piles of branches I had created. But, what I did NOT expect was that the city workers would take away the big branch you see in the photo and a couple of others that were hanging to the main trunk by a little bit of bark. These were HUGE pieces, and they’re SUPPOSED to be cut into small chunks before the city will deal with them. But, they took my hunks!!! I have no branches, logs or dangling limbs in my yard at this point. I will be sending thank-you letters to the city, BTW.

I have found male help. Someone who is young and strong and not afraid of my chainsaw (like yours truly, for instance). He will be over Sunday to take down the rest of the tree. If it stands up that long! Cross your fingers!

Adventures in Gardening

April 2, 2011

Aren’t they pretty? My new plants. I had high hopes of turning them into a new flower bed by this afternoon. It ain’t happenin’! I really bit off more than I could chew this time.

So, back in the winter, I talked Sweet Boyfriend into helping me dig up a row of shrubs in front of my dining room windows. The world’s ugliest shrubs. I wish I had taken a “before” photo, but I didn’t think about it until it was too late. But, the offending shrubs were lurking in the background when I documented the damaged tree last year. Here’s what I’m talking about:

Ugly, ugly, ugly!

It’s history now. But, left in its place were six stumps. Six very stubborn stumps. I sprayed ’em with brush killer an left them to finish out the winter. Here’s one of them awaiting removal earlier today –

No problem. I’ll just slip my brand new sharpshooter shovel under those roots and tip ’em out. Then, I’ll replace the ugly with hydrangeas, caladiums and begonias. All bright and pretty and new

Well, that was the PLAN. What actually happened was when I applied significant pressure to the handle of the shovel, the damn thing snapped in two!

The force of the break sent me sprawling face first into the dirt. I creamed both knees on the brick edging and sprained my right wrist. I’m just counting my lucky stars that i wasn’t impaled on the broken shovel. I had a few scary nanoseconds as I headed earthward. It’s amazing how many cusswords you can say in such a short period of time.

Sweet Boyfriend says they will give me my money back on the shovel. Wonder if they’ll restore my dignity, too!