Seasons #3 – Change Needed
The Bible says “to everything there is a season—a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted—“, and in the case of these trees, that was certainly true. We are at the end of a cul de sac, on the side of a hill, and the wind really roars up the hill during storms. So we felt we needed a wind break, and when we moved here, we had been used to a lot of privacy and wanted that again. So we planted a double row of leyland cypress trees. They are pretty, they grow fast, and they are a very good wind break. However, we should have done a little more investigating. The first problem was the double row; the outside of each row grew well, but not the inside. When they began to get too big for the area where they were planted, we cut one row down. The row that remained still functioned as a windbreak and privacy screen, but never looked very nice. At one point, we tried to keep the tops pruned so they formed a tall hedge. But that was very labor intensive and had to be done too frequently to make it practical. The problem, however, that forced our hand to remove them was a disease that they were susceptible to, and for which there was no treatment.
This photo, taken several years ago, shows the remaining row of trees after we had taken the first row down. It also shows how tall they had gotten. The next pic was taken last summer, when we took the remaining trees down. We had already taken part of the row down, but there were three or four still to be taken down. My husband cut them down in sections; he tied a rope onto them and I pulled while he used his saw. It was a lot of work!! but we got them down—finally. Since this photo was taken, we have removed the stumps, added a small berm, and planted bushes on it.
This pic is from quite awhile ago but even so, it shows how large these trees had gotten. And, sorry to say, they also had to come down. These were a little more difficult, partly because the ground we had to stand on to pull them was uneven and sloped uphill. We also had to be very careful because they could easily have fallen onto our house. My husband would use the saw while I pulled, and then he would come and put pressure on them to pull them down. It didn’t matter if they broke rather than cut cleanly because we weren’t trying to save them. The last photo shows the area as it looks now. We put in a small berm here also, and planted bushes that will get about ten feet tall. The lattice panels give our back porch some privacy, and we have climbing roses planted on them.
Final thought: If your idea of a garden is soft breezes, wafting perfume of roses, and a tall glass of lemonade while enjoying the beautiful flowers on your patio, you’ve certainly got half the equation right. The other half of the equation, though, is that maintaining a beautiful garden can be a lot of work. Not every gardener makes a big scale mistake like we did with our trees, but every gardener puts a lot of hours into maintaining a garden. If the actual working part of a garden isn’t your thing, you might just consider turning on a fan and misting rose perfume while drinking your tall glass of lemonade and watching a garden video on tv.