I love trees. One of the best features of my property when I bought this house was the numerous trees in the yard. They canopy the entire back yard and make it feel so cozy. So cozy we had my daughter’s wedding in the back yard and it was just beautiful. We’ll save that post for another day.
Sadly, I had to have 4 diseased trees removed this past November. During the process one of the large trees tangled in the fall and took down the tree right next to it that was planted to replace the one being removed. These trees provided a massive amount of shade on the west side of my house which means I’m really going to notice the temperature difference in the house this year; not to mention the fact that I have to rearrange some gardens to compensate for the extra sunshine.
The tree removal company doesn’t remove the stump waste, so I am left with two massive piles of tree stump bark to displace throughout the gardens. At first I was hesitant to use the bark from diseased trees in my gardens, but after some research this winter I discovered that it would be fine. So I thought, ok – I’ll get some extra help and we’ll just cover over the existing bark in the gardens. Then it hit me. It’s not just bark – it is dirt AND bark mixed together. So now I’m faced with ‘sifting’ the dirt and bark from each other or else I’m just going to be weeding bark; so what’s the point. It’s been a time consuming project because I’m shifting the gardens around at the same time, but it’s coming along.
This picture is a little dark, but I wanted to emphasize the height of the trees. I actually had to stand in my neighbour's yard in order to be able to capture all the trees in the picture. Sooooooo tall ! These three trees at the corner of the garage helped to shade the west side of my house.
In the picture below, between the garage and the house, you can see the large diseased tree. When we moved into this house the tree had a small hole in it; 27 years later, this you could see out the other side of the hole and the tree was hollow 12 feet up into the tree. Sadly - Time to come down. This tree was the tallest tree on the street and provided a massive amount of shade to the yard and house as well as protection against rain coming in my bedroom windows. The picture following this shows the top view of the tree to give you an indication of the height.
For 26 years all I heard from people was, "You know... that tree is going to have to come down." So when my daughter decided she wanted to have her wedding in the yard, I was dearly tempted to nail a sign onto the tree that said: 'YES, I Know the tree is going to have to come down!'
Instead....I got creative.
Niki and Shawn's wedding was in October and a friend of mine called me and said she was cleaning out her gardens for fall and was digging up some flowering cabbage and would I like it to put in my gardens for the wedding. I knew right away what I wanted to do with it !
Sadly the day came that they all had to be removed. The following pictures are a little dark because it was late November and I had just got home from work and I had to take the pictures right away as the remainder of the trees would be removed the next day when I was gone to work. Also in the bottom picture, note the inside of the trunk - that was 10 feet of several honey bee hives in the hollow of the tree.
|Snowflakes or Orbs - you decide.|
Ok, so the trees were felled, the winter was cold, harsh and very long; spring finally arrived late and it was time for me to get rid of the piles of dirt and bark. Pile 1 below.
Now, Pile 2 has a bit of a story. When I went outside to take the pictures of the piles of bark there was a little 'winter' surprise waiting for me that made me chuckle right out loud.
This friendly little Frosty the Snowman has been passed back and forth for many years between my friend Diane and I. It started out when I was sorting through some Christmas decorations and I decided to take 12 of my decorations and drop them off at my friends door step for each of the 12 days of Christmas. Frosty was the last one. And then one day Frosty turned up at my house the next spring and he's been going back and forth now for several years. Had we known this was going to carry on for so long and bring so much enjoyment, we would have taken more pictures a long time ago. This was one of my favourite 'finds' to discover Frosty in the bark, but one of my other favourites was one year when I walked out to my garage and discovered him in this garden....
Diane's favourite discovery was waking up Christmas morning and looking out her kitchen window that overlooks the neighbour's garage roof and Frosty was sitting on the roof peeking in at her. One day I noticed Di outside cleaning the car and when she went into the house for a moment I took the opportunity to quickly run over and buckle Frosty into the front seat. I could hear her laughing from my place when she came back outside to finish cleaning the car. Frosty also made it to Diane's daughter's Stag and Doe.
So back to the dirt and bark..... at present I am about 65% finished and as I progress - the robins just love me. Each time I go out to work, they are right there as they have learned who is providing them with their take out meals for the day. All they needed to do was show up and discover what I had left tossed out for them on the tarp.
Not only did the birds enjoy being fed - they loved it when it rained hard enough to fill the ruts in the ground from the trucks and they enjoyed a warm spring bath.
I dearly miss my trees already. This past week we had a huge thunderstorm and the wind and rain came into my bedroom window and got my bed wet before I could get to the window fast enough to close them. The protection of the trees often allowed me to keep the windows open through most all thunderstorms. Oh well.... what can I do?
I am so grateful to have had so many years of enjoyment from the trees and thankful that none of the spring or winter storms over the past 27 years ever toppled any of the trees over onto the house, particularly while I was asleep in my bed.
.... and of course grateful I was able to feed so many baby robins this spring.