Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Good-bye Old Friend

Yesterday, I called to see if they knew yet what day they were aiming for to cut the tree down, and they asked if it would be OK to go ahead and come out in the afternoon.  They said they needed to do some things, and then would be able to start around 1:00 p.m.  I got off of work at 1:20, and when I got home they had gotten started.  This is the first photo I took, as I was approaching from the north and east.  I ended up taking over 200 photos and videos.  (I don't post videos here, because I ran into something last time I tried to that I didn't like.  I'm thinking you had to give permission for the images to be used for advertisements or other purposes.)

I attached a leash to Heidi on the driveway, and she did a great job looking around.  I sat down at the curb across the street to the east for awhile. 

I'm thinking this photo may be out of order.  I didn't think there were that many larger pieces yet.

The crew was awesome to work with.  They let me pick which sections I wanted pieces from.  The longer, thinner branches, I'm hoping to have made into spoons.  The other pieces are for those who want firewood, but as it turns out, people are changing their minds because the tree had carpenter ants.

I was wrong when I said there would be no helicopters.  They are still small, but they are formed.  This photo was taken from the back of the house.

I walked around to the front at some point, and took some photos from a neighbor friend's yard.  She was watching off and on from her porch.  I would not be able to do the job of the guy who did the cutting from above!  (I bought the bicycle last summer at a garage sale.  The chain was broken, so I didn't feel bad about putting it in the garden.  Larry and I attached a wire basket, and I will plant something in it.  Can you see it?)

He was so sweet and pitched the branches so they wouldn't land in the flower beds.

The neighbor friend to the west of us was out watching, too.  I watched from her driveway for awhile.

We both walked over to the home across the street to the south, and another neighbor joined us for awhile.  We all said what a beautiful day it was for the guys to work.

I think some of the photos I took turned out pretty good!  The arborist here, was cutting slices from the area where the squirrels were, and doing some things to get them to leave.  (He had thought there was one, but there were two.)  The extension office had told me the squirrels would be gone by now, but at least their eyes are open.

He could not get them to come out, so he tied up the area they were in, and gently got it down.

The stump on the right is the home of the squirrels.  I'm not sure if they are still in there, but they were last night.  Larry and I wanted to move it to a safer area, but it was too heavy for us to move.  I'm keeping the larger round stump and the slices.  Some of the wood here was the firewood they saved. 

Did I mention I couldn't do this job?

Here's an example of the guys being careful of the flowers.  This guy was lifting up on the branch so it wouldn't drag over them as he got it out using the sidewalk.

You would think this guy was working at ground level.  He looked so calm!

I think it was at this point that my stomach flip flopped, and I looked down.  As I was looking back up, the tree swayed a bit.  Oh, my!

I felt compelled to keep watching and taking photos and videos.  When Larry got home from work, he came out for a little bit, but wasn't out much.  I am not sure if it was because it bothered him to watch, or he just wasn't interested.  I'll have to ask him.

Did I mention I thought some of the photos turned out pretty good?  I attribute it to a good zoom, and subject.  I guess I framed most of them OK, because I don't think I cropped any, except for maybe one.

One of Larry's brothers came over to see what was left of the tree, and watched the last part of it coming down.

This was hard to watch.  I got a short video of it, which I almost missed, because Larry had asked me a question, and I'd stopped filming to answer it.

There are not many photos of Larry and I together.  This was a sad occasion, but we are keeping our spirits up.  I did have a little trouble going to sleep last night, because I was feeling sad and had been so wired up with all the goings on.

So, there, it's down, and the guys were meticulous in their clean up.

The stump is supposed to be ground in a few days.  I guess they are doing some work on their stump grinder.

The house looks naked without the tree. 

I had trouble visualizing what shape of a flower bed to go for until I walked around the area after work this afternoon.  I know what size and boundaries I want now, and am very excited about it, but there will be discussions back and forth with Larry.

Again, thanks for all of your words of encouragement and support over the impending loss of the tree.  


  1. Sad to see it go but now you have some new area to sculpt.

  2. You did get some great photos! That one of the guy at the top of the tree with the sawdust flying around him is great! We've had a couple of big trees taken down in the past, but they weren't ones we were attached to. I couldn't do that job either, I am very much afraid of heights.

    Sorry you were so sad you couldn't sleep. But the house does look so nice and open now with the tree gone, and no more danger of it coming down on your house.

    Can't wait to see what you do with your new bed!

  3. I can identify with SOME of your feelings. We had to have 2 rather large trees cut in our back yard last year. The skill of the tree technicians IS amazing, isn't it? Can't wait to watch your new bed develop.

  4. The photos of the guy in the tree are amazing! You're right, those guys could be at ground level they are so calm. I remember when the tree behind our house was being trimmed, the guy was swinging around as casual as Tarzan! I'm glad you're getting excited about the possibilities of the new bed in the garden now.

  5. I couldn't do that job either. Wow they are monkeys. I'm very impressed with the care they took for your gardens and for the squirrels. What an experience. The tree did good by you and you by it. New plantings in your future!

  6. Excellent photos and narrative Sue~I think I know how you feel~It was a good friend and sheltered your house for years. I look forward to seeing what you do with the space....gail

  7. The front yard doesn't look half bad. I think you'll fix it up in no time and it will look better than ever. Sorry to see the old gal go though.

  8. Sorry for the loss,
    waiting for your new beautiful garden there!

  9. I lost a huge maple to a water main problem. yet I wasn't there to say goodbye Sorry for your loss

  10. Amazing how well they did taking down that huge tree!
    So sad and empty looking right now, but I'm looking forward to the transformation. I'm sure you'll have it looking amazing very soon!

  11. Sue,
    Now it looks as if you can have a bright new butterfly garden in the front yard! Oh, my it looks so different.

  12. Oh dear, these guys make me so nervous! Glad they can do the job though. You'll have this area designed in no time flat Sue.

  13. A sad occasion, but a new beginning. I'm sure it must have been hard for Larry since he grew up there. It was a grand old tree. Your tree guys were great, and even saved the little squirrel home while they were in it.

    You will have fun doing a new garden space. Are you going to plant some other type of tree there also?

    I love the picture of you and Larry.

    Happy Gardening ~ FlowerLady

  14. You had a good and careful crew. We have also had trees taken down from time to time because they were diseased or leaning towards the house or shed...it's hard. How are the squirrels?

  15. It looks like they did a good job at getting it down Sue. It is sad to see a big tree come down. That is going to change the sun to your house and garden in the summer.

  16. Sue, I almost hated to see these pictures! I feel your loss!

    First, they are fantastic pictures. Did you show the tree men? They might like to see them.

    I think they did a fantastic job and I really appreciate how they worked with you and knew how much the flower beds meant to you.

    I still vote for a small tree at that corner of the house.

    I hope you rest better tonight.

  17. Thanks for your words of sympathy and for sharing your experiences. I slept better last night, but had a very brief dream, where I saw the tree, half of the branches out, and a squirrel on the tip of one, trying to figure out what to do. I woke up crying, then was able to go back to sleep OK.

    The baby squirrels were gone the next morning. I think they were waiting for all of the people to go away.

    Yesterday, I showed Larry where I wanted the boundaries of the new bed to be, but he wasn't convinced yet. Today, I told him I had some good ideas for what to plant that I thought he'd like. He said he's not sure yet if he wants the area to be bigger than it was. I think it is too small and would look funny right there without the tree.

    I've read one shouldn't plant another tree in the same general area for a few years after cutting down a tree. I also read or was told the new tree should be 5 feet from where the old one was. It also needs to be 5 feet from where the sidewalk would be if we had one. It will be challenging to find a spot. Plus, I don't think there is room to plant one that would get large enough to provide shade.

    For now, my idea is to plant my Mexican sunflowers there, a few bush type tomato plants, (don't tell Larry), some dahlias, which I know he likes,and some annuals.

    I am probably going to have to move some of the plants in the bed next to the house, but think I'll keep an eye on them for now. Maybe the tithonia will shade them enough in the hot part of the summer.

  18. How sad to see the old tree come down. I'm sorry.

  19. It is always sad to see something beautiful end; but, it opens the way for new beginnings.

  20. It's so sad to see an old friend like this go, but on the bright side, you will have a new place for flowers. I'm so impressed with the way this crew was considerate of others--from your flowers to the squirrels. You were very lucky to find them. Great photos, Sue!

  21. What drama! And what interesting and (as you say!) well composed shots. And what sadness too.

    Your house looks lovely, with or without the tree.


  22. Wonderful photos and narrative. Losing such a beautiful old tree is sad, but I am sure you will come up with amazing plans for the space. Your house is lovely and charming with or without the tree.

  23. Hi Sue!

    I missed this post due to our very sad loss of Romeo this week. You have an amazing record of your faithful friend and the team that brought her down obviously did the job with great care. I'm so glad you've saved some of the wood. You can now concentrate on planning and developing the space freed up by her absence. I am sure it will be an exciting stage in the development of your garden!

    I agree with everyone else...your house and garden still look lovely!

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  25. So sorry :-( I'm glad the guys that did the job took such care.
    (Sorry, I just wanted to edit it, I thought I made a typo, I didn't realise there'd be a message saying I'd deleted my comment, still learning my way around blogging, I probably shouldn't be trying new things at 1 am.)

  26. I'm sorry you lost your tree :(

  27. Hey, did you know your tree is on the houselogic website? It was amazing to see your red fire hydrant on a different website and I knew it was your garden in an instant. They gave you credit and linked back. Just thought you'd like to know you are famous. :0) David



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