Tree Control!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-27-2012
Tree Control!
2
Sat, 04-28-2012 - 4:04pm

We have a good sized corner lot in an older subdivision (about 100 ft or more along the sidewalks). There are areas of the yard where I can see someone once paid close attention to, but I think perhaps they liked trees a bit much, or they got a deal on a lot of them ;o)

This first picture is of an aerial view from Google Maps. You can see where the corner is, and many of the tops of trees. The tarp-covered items are no longer on the property (old picture). The 2 dots are our entryways, and the green line is our driveway. You can easily see the majority of our space is along the street sides, and the back area is shaded almost completely.

aerialhouse.jpg

This is the view across the street directly at our corner.

Community Leader
Registered: 02-27-1999
Sat, 04-28-2012 - 5:38pm

Thinning out the scraggly, diseased and "nuisance" trees (IE in the power lines is NOT GOOD) will be an excellent first move.

Photobucket
Community Leader
Registered: 02-27-1999
Sat, 04-28-2012 - 5:44pm

By the way, your place is lovely!

Photobucket
Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Sat, 04-28-2012 - 7:53pm

All of those trees look lovely to me, but I completely understand how they can be too much. I think that with trees, and lots of other plants, we either don't research what size the plant will reach when mature, or we don't really believe it, or just figure that we'll deal with it if it becomes a problem. Since a tree in a nursery container looks so small and spindly its hard to imagine that someday it will be 30 feet wide and tall with invasive roots.

You might want to get an arborist out to your place. There might be someone from your city or province that would come for free to advise you, or you could get someone on the premise of getting bids on trimming and removal. (I usually feel bad about having them come out if I'm not going to hire them but you may eventually decide to hire an arborist/tree trimming company for the trees that you do decide to keep). Anyway an arborist could advise you as to your particular situation and any problems. I recommend a certified arborist rather than just a tree trimming firm because the tree trimmers don't always know the correct way to trim a tree without damaging it. Not trying to scare you but there is a right and wrong way to trim trees so the tree continues to grow properly with a nice shape.

I kind of agree with your parents' advice to live with the situation for the season, except for the trees that pose a danger to power lines or structures. It would give you a chance to observe the entire situation over another 6 months, develop ideas of how you want the yard to look, and to save money for the solution. You didn't say if you or your dh have experience in tree trimming and downing (ie climbing and working with a chainsaw at heights, working ropes to direct where limbs will fall etc) so hopefully you do, or have a friend who knows how to do this who will be there helping...without seeing the trees in question its hard to know just what you're planning to do but from the overhead it looks like some might be close to structures? I don't mean to be discourage you, just pointing out some things to consider.

As for your veggie plot, it looks like there are some sunny areas in the front yard, what about using those areas for this year's garden? Container gardening is another idea, and could allow you to extend your growing season a bit because you *could* move the pots around as the sun angles change in fall and/or put the pots in the garage when the nights get cold but the days are still warm.

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Re: Tree Control!
Sun, 04-29-2012 - 2:27am

Not to hijack Andrea's thread, but half of my front yard is veggies..well, in the summer anyway. When we moved in it was a lawn with foundation plants but I won't use pesticides or herbicides so it quickly became a weed patch. Then there's the part about dumping so much water on it, here in semi-arid SoCal, so it became a mostly dead weed patch! Eventually I figured out what I wanted out there, a cottage garden in the original sense. Upon reflection I decided to modify that to include flowering plants. So the first thing you see are large floribunda rose bushes but then you start seeing vegetable plants and 2 fruit trees, a persimmon and a pomegranate (which has attractive foliage most of the year). Some people think its weird but most people who comment love it, and many say that its a welcome change from the monotony of lawns+foundation plantings that so many people around here have.

As for corn in the front yard, last summer there was a photo in the local paper of a house where the owner had removed the lawn and planted the entire front yard with Silver Queen corn. That would be a bit much even for me, but I'm sure its a real conversation starter in that neighborhood!

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-03-2001
Sun, 04-29-2012 - 10:02am

Just a concern here --- trees in the power lines? Check first and see if the local electric utility has a contract to keep those trees trimmed. Around here, electric companies have easements for power lines and unless the tree is only interfering with the direct line to your home (depends on the company --- some will handle trees up to your house itself, others stop at the property line) , they keep them trimmed themselves (like k-roni said, the end result could be strange looking but it's free!). It's to the electric company's benefit to keep trees in trim, since they are the ones who get called out when lines go down do to falling trees and limbs in storms! 

And if these trees aren't under their jurisdiction, I personally would take advice and hire a licensed arborist to handle those trees near power and telephone and other utility lines. You don't want to create a hazard to yourself or your neighborhood by cutting a line inadvertently...

 It sure would be safer for you to not be messing with trees in live wires! 

By the way, we have a tree service who, for a yearly fee, come and check our two big sugar maples, fertilize them, trim them if necessary (there's almost always winter limb damage around here) and the like. They also can advise on tree removal (we have an issue in this state with emerald Ash Borer and they have taken down our infected trees for us). We sign up in the fall and they give us an early sighing discount too! Costs us about $300 a year for those two big tress and it's a relief to know that these trees remain healthy (last thing we need is a HUGE tree to fall on our house, KWI?).

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-27-2012
Sun, 04-29-2012 - 11:49am

I`ll address the power lines and structure of the house first.

Like I mentioned, there are some trees which are diseased which will need to be removed. These are the trees that would cause the most damage to our home in the case of any weather issues.

As for the power lines: I did call our local provider - there are 2 lines leading from the house, tangled in the branches of one tree. One line is cable and the other is power. Cable will not come out and do anything, and hydro company said because the lines are not over city property, they become our responsibility.

Next - my husband and I have ZERO experience with this type of thing, however we have a WONDERFUL friend who not only owns all the tools we need, but knows how to use them ;o) As for conserving the health of the tree - I think our friend may only be a trimmer, and not aware of how to keep the tree alive. I will definitely look into calling out an arborist for that one area.

I did some research on the treeline trees. They appear to be an Emerald Aborivitae(...)  They can grow up to 15`but usually stick within 8-12 feet. I watched a few different vids on pruning and trimming and I think I have the general idea. We talked last night and have decided yes, we will trim & prune what we can this year, remove the diseased trees then make more hard core decisions on removal next year.

I am SO glad to read your opinions on front yard veg gardening. (Personal insight to me here would be to confide in you that I have the most unreasonable form of depression, which generally keeps me indoors as much as possible. Gardening a veg patch gets me some much-needed Vitamin D and takes away a lot of my....I don`t know.....sadness, I guess) This is why my parents and husband are with you all on the front yard gardening. They told me to plant the patch right there, where it will get lots of sun and where I can tend it. But it has always seemed strange to me, and like I would be inciting the neighbours to hate me. But you`ve convinced me, and I will be planting out there this year. That being said, I liked the idea suggested by one of the replies....container planting. I will do a combination of both.

I really appreciate the time you all took to read my post and write your replies. Your advice and personal tree situations was very helpful.

Andrea

Community Leader
Registered: 02-27-1999
In reply to: k_roni
Sun, 04-29-2012 - 12:55pm

Thank you!  We are enjoying your company!  I would not trim or prune the arborvitae.  Evergreens don't respond well to pruning.  They will keep that columnar shape all by themselves.  About all they need is removal of any dead branches.  

I had 4 red star junipers that I dearly loved, but some sort of pest killed them.  I have not found anything I like as much since then, but then again, there is that oak tree to contend with.  It's shading out everything.  

Photobucket
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-27-2012
Sun, 04-29-2012 - 1:50pm

I have taken a closer look and I would say these aren't the Emeralds I thought they were. There are 2 kinds. This is our treeline - I included the dying, flopped over tree so you can understand how they are growing. Many of them look to have shoots coming out sideways which have now matured, and they come out of the ground in many leaders - if that makes sense. The second pic is a closeup.

treeline.jpg

treelineclose.jpg

They obviously need some kind of attention, and I don't think I am ready to just pull them out. I will remove their dead branches, then see what I have to work with.

 

Andrea