Thursday, October 8, 2009

T is for Tree B Gone

This is our tree, the American Sweetgum, Liquidambar styraciflua (I like the Latin name). It's the tallest tree on our block and it is at least sixty years old. You can see it above all the other trees. Our estimate is over 100 feet. We've taken care of it and had it pruned every year and it keeps growing.

But it's too close to our house. A couple of years ago we saw a show on maybe the Home and Garden channel about a house whose foundation was really damaged by their tree and ever since then we've been watching that tree.

Mr. Truck never liked it anyway. All year round, winter, spring, summer, fall, these seeds drop off the tree. He spends hours and hours picking them up. They hurt if you step on them and they don't even compost very well.

But this year the fence was bulging. And that never happened before. Digging around it, Mr. Truck found this root. From the tree. Heading towards our foundation. And no it's not a branch, we dug it out of the ground.

So we called The Tree Service and Mr. Truck declared August 26 Tree B Gone Day. It's really sad but the Tree Service told us the horror story of other people's foundations with $30,000.00 worth of damage.

So the nice men from The Tree Service came and brought all sorts of equipment and went so high in the tree that I couldn't even watch.

When the branches and especially the trunk hit the ground, the house shook.

And they chipped it all up and carted it all away.

Then they got out the really big equipment and ground down the trunk, 3 feet into the ground. Now I was under the impression that they would take all that with them, too. But when they left this was still here. We just looked at each other. Where were we going to put that much mulch? I spread it everywhere I could and it didn't even make a dent in the pile. What to do? So Mr. Truck made a sign that said "Free Mulch." He stuck it in the pile and we waited. It was there Thursday, it was there Friday, it was still there Saturday. On Saturday I spread more around the shrubs. Sunday morning we woke up and it was gone. We don't know who or how, we never heard anything and the dogs didn't even bark. So now the tree is really gone.

We're planning on planting a small tree this spring. I'm leaning towards a Kousa Dogwood.


Sara said...

Very sad. But a torn up foundation is even sadder. I'm glad you are planting another tree...and that someone claimed all that mulch. :-)

Wanderingcatstudio said...

Its a shame about the tree but I absolutely understand! Glad to hear your going to plant a new one. My grandparents have four acres and several of the trees are dying and need to be cut down. I'm going to surprise my gramma this spring with several new ones.

Not ready for handspun said...

We have a flowering Dogwood - but it's been quite finicky. Seems to suffer from too much sun and heat at the end of the suffer and get leaf burn. Maybe your Dogwood will be more successful!

Iron Needles said...

How I miss dogwoods. I loved them when I lived in KY and MO. The only really big trees we get here are cottonwoods. Well, unless you count the pines in the mountains. I do miss the hardwoods back east...or even in the midwest. Sorry about the tree having to come down, but sometimes they got to go.

Marie said...

I'm sorry to see the Sweetgum go. We have 2 of our own that shade the western side of our house. Did you know they make great fire starters (wait till they are all dried out - about late winter/early spring - then, keep them until next year. Better than any newspaper you'll find.)? They are also great for providing drainage in large pots. Plus, they are great for killing off grass. Just pile them up in a certain area and by spring of next year, the grass is dead. When you have a surplus of them every year, you get resourceful.
I love your new tree choice. I have 5 dogwoods in our yard and they are beautiful. Another option would be the Eastern Redbud, a fast grower and equally beautiful tree.
Regarding Handspun, be sure to mulch your dogwood and water it weekly during the summer when there is no rain in sight. I've brought 2 dogwoods back from the dead that way. It's true that they do better if allotted shade in the heat of the day.