We’ve got a few trees on our property. One sits right at the front of the front garden, and it doesn’t look healthy:

When we first viewed the place we identified that tree as one thing we definitely wouldn’t be keeping. It’s a shame, we like trees and nature but it isn’t the greatest tree in the world:

  • Looks unhappy, possibly unhealthy
  • Blocks the view from the property out towards the horizon
  • Blocks the view of the road, making pulling out of the driveway a little dangerous
  • Takes up several square metres of garden

As we’ve been here it’s been sagging more and more, looking sadder every day. The ground beneath it is not the best, grey water has been dumped on it for years. We really need to get some soil tests done and possibly replace the dirt. Before that, though, we needed to get rid of it. So we did.

I really wanted to cut it down myself, but the aggravation of getting rid of the carcass (can I call it a carcass?) was too much, so we paid a local tree surgeon to come and help us out.

We had also been angrily looking at the evergreens in the back garden:

These trees are difficult to manage. You need to cut them back quite regularly, but not too far or you’ll kill them. If you don’t keep on top of it, the point at which you can cut them back to extends outward, meaning the trees always grow bigger.

This has resulted in a couple of issues. First off, the row of trees stick out into the garden by two metres. That’s two metres of garden we can’t do anything with. Secondly, they’re getting very high now. We can cut them back and keep them at a fairly sensible height, but there’s some power lines going above them which puts me right off.

We also discovered, after talking to the neighbour, that they’re a nightmare for them, too. Not only do they block the morning light for the entire year, but they’ve grown so big that they have pushed over the fence behind them. The only thing keeping the fence somewhat upright is a shed they’ve put against it. Not ideal at all.

So we got the tree surgeon to cut these down, too:

We’ve gained the two metres of extra garden, we can now comfortably access the brick shed, and we’ve secured the fence (temporarily) on our end and next door. It’ll need sorting out properly, but it’ll stand for now.

We’ve still got the stumps in the ground in the front and back garden. Getting them out will be tough (in the front garden the tree was planted over the top of the gas mains, so I don’t really want to dig it out) but we’ll drill some holes into them and disolve the wood, returning it to the ground. Once we’ve done that, we’re probably going to plant flowers and/or fruit and veg in the back. The trees in the back did one thing for us, and that was provide us some privacy in the back garden, so we’ll get some climbing plants and put some trellis on the top of the fence to get some privacy back.

As for the front garden, we love trees and feel bad for cutting the existing one down, so we’re considering planting another tree there, or nearby depending on exactly where the gas main runs. Something a bit more open, maybe a fruit tree. We’re thinking Apple tree, but may change our minds.

Either way we’ve got a long way to go before then.

Some family came over and helped us de-weed and de-bramble the front garden! Unfortunately I don’t have a picture of before the de-weeding, but just imagine this with a forest of weeds instead of empty useful space:

Looks so much better already. We’re going to cut that Buddleia back once it stops flowering. The butterflies and bees love it and we don’t want to take that away from them. After it’s cut back it should regrow from the stump next year.

We’ve got a load of weeds coming in through the land beyond the fence which is proving to be a pain but now that most of it is clear it should be fairly easy to keep on top of.

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