Cleaning Up After Trees

Trees can loom large in gardens, and garden partnerships. Often one wants the trees to stay standing up, while the other wants them shortened, or felled. There's a strong relationship between sublime inner happiness and large trees blocking the winter sunshine...

 Investigated by Rusty the dog.
Tree Mess

Take, for example, the felling of a row of large pine and gum trees, whose excessive height has been rudely blocking the mid-winter sun from lightening up the mid-winter Moosey house. NGP (Non-Gardening-Partner) has been promising me for years to 'do something' about it...

Once The Height of Fashion...

The offending pine and gum trees were an original shelter belt, planted over twenty years ago when rows of gum and pine (under-planted with Argentinean pampas grass) were the height of country fashion. Height - aargh! Deep in the gloom of the Moosey lounge for the six shortest weeks of the year, straining to see the weak winter sun behind all those monsters...

 Rusty is helping...
The Start of the Great Clean-Up

This is definitely a situation where the concept, the delivery, and the aftermath are not aligned. The concept is great - it's exciting, it's time for the gardening imagination to run riot. When the trees are down - just watch me! I'll turn a scruffy hump of land into a woodland retreat, I'll plant species roses to reach for the sky, I'll make little paths, and plant beautiful deciduous trees, and bluebell glades...

 Pine rounds to be split for next winter.

The delivery, if one hires a consultant arborist, is even greater - it's like magic! One goes out in the morning - such a busy life, being a full-time retired person and gardener - and spends a happy day hiking in the mountains. On returning there are neat piles of logs, and lots of light. There's even a proper sky!

The Trees are Down!

Yippee! The trees are down. The tree fellers have been sawing all day, climbing the trees and dropping pieces from the top down, getting all the angles right.

A huge piece of gum tree trunk nestles resolutely on the ground between a cute little maple and a cuter little golden Totara - a couple of degrees this way or that and whammo! Hardly anything has been crushed or obliterated - such a warm fuzzy feeling


Oh dear. Even after two days of cleaning-up the euphoria is fading. I've definitely moved on from wanting to hug the tree-fellers - or should I call them tree fellas?

The clean-up will take months and months, and I'm impatient. My visions of rambling rectors and moist red rhododendrons have faded, too. Raking and dragging out branches only seems to uncover more mess. Logs to chainsaw, trunks to trim, trimmings to put in piles for the shredder, pine-cones to collect up before they do a mischief underfoot...

 A brand new skyline.
The Sky!

Aargh! I screw up my eyes to see the woodland path and the bluebell glade. Then I open them, sigh (humph!), and grab another straggly gum tree branch.

So Much Wood in Them...

Who would have thought that the trees had so much wood in them? And how many silly little side branches need to be lopped off a pine trunk? And how sticky pine tree mess is to handle? Warning to lady gardeners - wear a head-covering hat, your least favourite gardening shirt, and do not on any account scratch anything. Anything!

 Split and stacked.
Next Winter's Warmth

But let's look on the brighter side - next winter will be brilliant. The wood that made my house sunless will be able to merrily warm it. There's enough firewood to keep the log burner going twenty-four-seven - through the coldest, most horrible winter weather. Hang on - that's nothing to look forward to! Aargh!