Yards, trees, wood splitting and stump grinding

I have had a busy year. Well, 5 years. Four years ago the ball got rolling by having a gigantic limb fall from the 70-80 year old cottonwood by the garage (there were three of these giant trees). The tree fell on my mulberry tree – a fruiting one and my fence and damaged them both. It, the mulberry had to go. Somehow while I was gone for 2 hours, the tree guy I had hired cut the wrong mulberry tree down. Then while he was attempting to take the cottonwood (which was dying and I didn’t know it) down, he dropped a huge branch on my neighbors house. She asked that I remove another tree to the North that leaned over her property towards her house a bit. So in the matter of a month I went from 4 full grown and two smaller trees to none in that corner. Only catch was, I had to dispose of the wood myself. We split it all that fall – yes it was lying on my lawn from July to November and it
was a lot of tree. It kept the lawn mowing down. I burned that wood during the winter until this summer when I gave the rest away to make room for the next round.

Last July I had two 70-80 year old giant cottonwood trees removed from the backyard. When I bought this house it was loaded with trees in the backyard. Now they are all but gone.

It has taken some getting used to the lack of shade, but it has been great for the garden. Last week was the beginning of the finale. When I had the trees removed I asked the crew to leave me about one cord of wood from the smaller stuff, the stuff about as big around as your thigh, so that I wouldn’t have to split it and could just use a chain saw to slice it up into smaller pieces. Well, they ended up leaving gigantic pieces that are too large for one human to move. My tree guy assured me that he would come back in the fall and split the wood for me (I am lucky enough to have a wood stove for extra coziness and heat). Well we got the fence up a month or so after grinding the stumps (renting a stump grinder) enough to get out of the way of a fence line (they needed still to be properly ground). Nine months later, I still have an obnoxious pile of wood that is keeping me from progress in the landscaping department. Enter in good friend whose boyfriend happened to just recently buy a wood splitter. I was about to pay to have the chunks hauled away, and he offered to help.

Last Thursday, we split wood. On Sunday my tree guy came over and ground all the stumps (and one very large root) for us. A four hour process. Lots of mulch, lots of wood chips flying through the air. Lots of raking in my future.

Finally a sense of completion. These photos document the drastic changes in the backyard since it all began. Watching a 90 foot high tree come down limb by limb is pretty interesting to watch, and terrifying if your house is underneath it!

Now to reroof the garage and finish putting up privacy fence. At least I can take my time with those and not worry about dying trees falling on my head and house!

i’m out