I don't know about anyone else, but I have some before and after shots I'd like to share. DH doesn't understand why I care, other than the fact that it'll help get a better appraisal for our refinance...
Hi again, TC! I thought of you this evening: I saw 2 huge piles of bricks downtown coming back from dinner. No rocks, though =(
Here's my first before and after. This is one of the oak trees on my property and part of our patio. Though you could never tell it from the before picture, the patio was there the whole time! It had been covered in so many years worth of decaying leaves that it had reverted back to forest floor (even though I live in the city). It's 20x20 made up of 2x2 concrete tiles, and I'm in the process of convincing my DH to try growing a fragrant ground cover between the tiles.
See where all the downed limbs were piled around the base of the tree? Underneath them, liarope grass was growing in the leaves: I had to roll sections of it up like carpet. We've got the stuff everywhere, so this went straight to the curb (cause if I'd compost it, it'll grow in the compost!). Needless to say the wayward privet was also taken out.
The entire base area of the tree is hard clay and tree roots, so to humor my back and hubby's love of rocks I put down several bags of red lava rock. I'm not sold on the decorative fencing, but it's what I had on hand.
The holly bush to the left of the tree was damaged by fallen limbs. I'm trimming dead and misshapen branches off of it, slow b/c I don't want to traumatize it. It's turning into kind of a bonzai shape, which makes me strangely happy.
Really nice job!! Looks like you had a mess like me. At least you have some established trees. Albeit big. I'm going for the small ones bc I don't have much room. I really love those shade and oriental plants. But for me no shade except a small area in the back of the lot.
Keep the pictures coming you are doing a great job!!
This is that same area, cleared of debris with our new patio set on top of the not-so-new patio. Good news is that the clematis is growing back from roots that were left, unfortunately it's between cracks of the pavers and inside the canopy.
I was thinking while viewing your first picture if the patio set- what if a high wind comes up and I see your 2nd pic. Oh my!! That looks like my luck. Be thankful that no one was sitting in that chair!!
Wow Tina--you've really been working hard on all this--it all looks so nice. Humoring your back? LOL, I'll bet your back might take issue with you on that! Sorry about that oak limb. Those old oaks are bad about doing that. Do you know anyone who could come out and help you prune all the old dying limbs out of it? That would save you future mishaps like the one above and help the overall health of your tree.
I agree with all said. Especially getting the tree trimmed. I just had an old one done and feel much better when the winds come. It was expensive but well worth it. Better if you have a friend who knows how :-) So sorry about the patio set, hope you can replace it. We had one like that and used gallon jugs full of water on each post to hold it down. Not fancy, but it worked. You could always make the jugs pretty somehow.
The canopy actually hasn't moved in the winds we've had the past couple of days: it's staked down tightly (the good thing about having a patio with 1.5 inch gaps btwn pavers).
The tree is part of a much bigger issue, unfortunately. Our lot is a fifth of an acre and came with 6 full grown oak trees: one in front, one on the side, and four in back. The one in the front was removed after our first month here, as it was growing less than 10 ft from the corner of the house and had been struck by lightening. It took a crew of five 2 days to get it down; $2500 later we were left with the city's largest private sawdust pile and the knowledge that we were undercharged by 50% (and I watched themwork, they definitely undercharged!).
The one on the side and the one that ate the canopy are both intended for removal. Limbing is no longer an option because they have both been poorly limbed in the past and now are growing towards the house: removing limbs that endanger the house only make the tree's weight more lopsided. The side tree will have to be removed before this back tree can be touched, unless we park a crane in the front yard and have it work over the top of the house. Not ideal... Unfortunately, the side tree is also less than 10 ft from the side of the house, and the topside root structure has grown over and around a stone wall. Even with the tree down, they might not be able to remove the stump and that's what's in the way of bringing a cherry picker into the backyard to bring down the other tree.
So, now it's just a matter of coming up with 6k to have two trees removed =( At least I got to enjoy some of my patio time!
I actually have a before and after for that side tree. Well, technically I have an after shot, as I forgot to take a before, but I've modified the picture to give you an idea of what the 'before' was like =)
Here is that side tree: I'm standing right up against the house to take this picture.
Here is the after shot: I cleared away a ton of periwinkle (vinca major tries to take over in my yard, while vinca minor behaves itself) and pulled back a couple feet of dirt to reveal what I originally thought was another stone flower bed. Turns out this is the left-side of the stone walled bed I already knew about, except the tree has grown up over the wall.
I looks like a previous owner or tenant had a load of mulch deliverd to this spot and never put it out, because the dirt mounded up around this tree and on the bed isn't like the dirt I have in other parts of the yard. I also had to pull out some 40 year old plastic sheeting that had been put down as a weed barrier: layered upon itself and with tree roots grown through it, of course!
This left-over bit of a bed is tiny (4ft x 8 in) and doesn't really get any direct sunlight, so I planted the only thing I had on hand that would work: a cut and come again lettuce patch.