Many people might laugh about that, but we do become attached to them. Some of my guilt over planting them awkwardly was assuaged when I read a part of Adrian Bloom's book, Conifers for Your Garden, where he himself (and he is my idol) admitted to planting things too closely or not in the right spot over the years. Mr. Bloom said if a tree has outlived its usefulness and really must go, we shouldn't look on it as a loss, but rather an opportunity to plant something new and exciting. (ok, he was more eloquent, but the book is in our bedroom and Carl's asleep).
As so often happens when something needs to change, Mother Nature took over and the elm tree developed Dutch Elm disease. We decided to take the elm down before it was completely overcome in the hope it wouldn't spread to the other three elms we had, but that turned out to be useless, as within the next year, they all succumbed. Here we are getting ready to saw down the elm, note the upper left-hand branches are browning:
I am not certain of the actual time-frame here, but after we took the elm down, we began to think about what we could do to open up the front garden again. We had planted a Schwedler Maple when Joel was around 2 years old.
Joel has always been our willing right-hand man with the landscaping projects, not that we kept him chained to the yard or anything. (However, he may tell you something different...I don't know where he gets such silly ideas.)
Up, up and away!
After the maple was gone, some more time passed and we decided it was time to remove the blue spruce closest to the driveway. Our hosta collection (illness) was going full bore and we needed the room to put more in, and since the tree was so spindly, out it went.
We started this project rather late at night, which is a bad habit of ours; we'll be strolling through the gardens, talking about something needing to be cut down and out come the chain saws. I think the reason for this is due to the sentimental thing again, you have to strike while the iron is hot and before we think too much. First we had to limb the tree up a bit higher:
The tractor on the right is our 574, my father's pride and joy, and mine too, hooked up to a cable to convince the tree to fall the right way.