Sunday, November 6, 2011


Most of our backyard plans involve adding things to the backyard to create our little urban farm.  We'll be building, planting, raising, and growing all sorts of things.  But shortly after we moved in it had become clear that one aspect of the backyard was just going to be in our way; so a little destruction was in order.

Fruit trees are wonderful.  We've taken lots of trips to orchards where we could spend time amongst the trees and pick our own apples or cherries.  But these fruit trees were not so wonderful.  They were over-grown, unpruned, diseased, and hadn't borne fruit in many years.  The apple tree had a giant dead section devoid of any leaves, and the pear had so many suckers growing out of its base that it was hard to see the actual trunk. Though we wanted to find a way to save them, it was pretty clear that it wouldn't be feasible.

That opinion was echoed by the convenient horticulturist next door - our neighbor's nephew who stopped by to chat about our plans for the yard and diagnosed our trees as unsaveable. He then casually mentioned that he had a chainsaw and would be happy to cut down our problem trees. Naturally, we took him up on the offer.

Before this happened, we were actually toying with the idea of cutting these "small" trees down by ourselves.   Renting a saw, maybe watching some YouTube instructions, and winging it from there. We sure are glad that we didn't!  Trees look a lot smaller when they are standing in the air than they do when they come crashing to the ground.  We tried to look busy dragging branches around while our new friend with the chainsaw did most of the work.  He even tied a rope around each tree to guide its fall away from our fence and garlic bed.  So we can't really take much credit for this project, but that didn't stop Stacia from posing for this triumphant shot.

What you can't see in this photo is the decomposing interior of the tree trunk. Some portions of the tree were so decayed it was like dirt, inside the tree itself. That helped us feel better about cutting the trees down, showing us definitively how unwell they really were. So, with relatively clear consciences, we found ourselves with a humongous pile of brush and a stack of firewood we will be challenged to ever use up.  We hope to remain carbon-neutral by replacing these two with a couple of new trees next year, but that will be a project for another day!

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