Sunday, November 8, 2015

Trimming the Tree

Normally, tree trimming is one of my favorite activities of December - just around the corner!  It involves lights and ornaments and the magic of the season!

Every few years, however, it means something completely different.  The power company sends crews - sometimes goons - to clear vegetation back from various lines.  Unfortunately for us, the rules changed several years after we purchased the house and are now much stricter, so it is often a battle with the crew chief.  [If they keep good notes, then i am surely on their "watch list" because i have zealously guarded our trees - even when that means getting in the face of some young guy with a chain saw and no knowledge of trees!]

This neighborhood was originally farm land and there are many heritage trees - trees that are much more than 50 years old,  like the 80-foot tall water oak that I can see from the desk as i write this - and many of them are now in the way of the lines.  Methinks that the trees were there first!  We are lucky that none of ours spread into the protected area, but if one is not vigilant the crews will cut everything in sight.

I was lucky this year that there was an arborist on the crew, and he and i were able to come to an agreement on what would be trimmed and what left alone.  It seems strange to me that they routinely take out branches that are lower than the lines.  Do they really believe that limbs will fall up?  Nonetheless, my elm only had two small branches shortened a couple of feet. 
I hope to be able to trim a little and make the top of this crepe myrtle more rounded without pollarding too much.  There was no reason to touch this tree.

My next door neighbor was not so lucky.  They cut five feet off her crepe myrtle and left it with a flat top!  We all know how dangerous falling branches are from crepe myrtles ... not!

They did give me a gift, tho.  They cut back the boundary hedge behind me.
Before - You can barely see part of the roof of the house and some of a lovely oak above the hedge.

The ligustrum hedge that separates us from the rear neighbor has been a mess for years.  It is on their property, but I keep our side sheared as best i can.  They have not touched it in years, so it was about 16 feet high and at least 8 feet thick, with honeysuckle and creeping euonymous all thru it.  
It took three "passes" to cut down the top from about 16 feet to about 8 feet.  And, then they sheared the other side, too.

It was rather fun to watch them work, and it will be great once if flushes in the spring.  

I'll shear it back once in February before it starts its new growth and then a second time after it blooms and then it should be set for a year .... well, on this side.
After - what an improvement!
I love it that now I can see the oak behind it, and that my Emerald Arborvitae stands taller.  [It's nearly invisible in the "before" photo.] Still a great green backdrop to my garden, but things no longer 'get lost' in the hedge.  Now, if Santa would just give them someone to do it annually ....