Sunday, August 22, 2010

Goodbye Tree

Four years ago when I first saw this old elm tree, I thought I could live with it. It was at the end of the property line and was blocking the morning sun, but my new garden still got more than six hours of sunshine and was very productive. Then one windy day the power line that was too close to the branch ignited and the down line started a fire that burn the wooden fence. Avista, the power company, trimmed and removed some of the branches, but would not cut the whole tree down.

This tree was more than 75 feet tall. Tall enough to hit our bedroom if it falls down, making it dangerous to keep. Then last year, I was wondering why my three-year-old kitchen garden can't seems to get enough water and nutrients. My veggies looked kind of anemic and were not very productive. I thought that maybe I just didn't have enough compost material. I was relying on my huge compost pit to keep my veggie garden organic. Or did I simply under estimated the tree's ability to reach and extract nutrients and water from its surrounding?

One day I decided to move a raise bed that was at least 45 feet from the tree, and could not believed how much new roots the old tree have crawling underneath. It was amazing considering that I did not till the ground when I built the raised bed. I was following the "lasagna" method and just covered the grass with card board and newspaper and add compost and top soil. But after 2 years the tree's massive root system took over. No wonder my plants were suffering from malnutrition and dehydration. The big old tree was acting like a big bully and was stealing their food and water.

So last spring we decided to get rid of the tree.

The most honest and affordable arborist in eastern Washington and northern Idaho area. No joke. One bidder thought we were disparate enough to tackle a second mortgage just to get rid of the darn tree. He probably didn't have the means but if we have the money, he'll find a way. Only Affordable Arborist told us he can't do it because he doesn't have a professional tree climber and topper, then put in an honest bid when he hired one.

The professional tree climber

And his safety gears and equipments.

Getting started. One branch at a time. This section was the most dangerous part of the whole tree. It was directly on top of the power line.

Each branch was tied before it was cut and two guys on the ground used the rope to guide the fall away from the line. It was quite a system of know how and coordination.

Well Hello Sunshine!

And off to the ground it goes. A few feet at a time.

And here comes the big one.

Goodbye Tree!


  1. Hi LoLa; thank you for your visit. I know exactly your feelings when you saw all the roots stealing the water and nutrients.
    It is so expensive to get rid of a tree which is really dangerously close to the house. We had to cut some very big ones around the house. there was no sun coming through anymore. The vegetable garden suffered as there were mats of roots. Neighbours had planted huge trees along the boundary of the vegetable garden, so they got rid of many too.
    We were also afraid that in a big storm one could fall on the house. Anyway we are pretty safe now...I hope.
    I am sure the people missed you too after you retired.

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