Sometimes you have to choose between your old house and your old trees.
Old houses usually have very old and mature trees that originally acted as lot line markers.
The problems start when the lot line trees start failing and aging out. They lean and have water collecting crotches which rot out the center of the tree.
So, even though it hurts me to do so, some trees must be cut down to protect the historic house, and since I have planted many, many trees and shrubs during the thirty-five plus years that I have been working on the Jarvis Garden, I called a tree company with the necessary equipment.
To keep busy while that was going on outside, and to keep out of the way of the tree cutters, I packed up all of the outdoor Christmas lights that I took off the front bushes, and front door frame.
These trees were so tall that even a bucket truck with a cherry picker couldn't get up high enough.
That meant that some one had to put spikes on their boots and climb the rest of the way.
There were two trees that were really leaning over a neighbor's house.
The tree men carefully roped limbs and cut and lowered them to the ground.
Both houses were not touched, nor were their cedar shingled roofs damaged.
Brush was piled systematically in the driveway and fed into a huge chipper,
while larger sections were loaded on to a Bobcat.
The Bobcat dropped the sections of Ash into the back-back.
A section falls to the ground below.
Meanwhile the lights were packed into three crates in the kitchen.
Sections of the trees had centers which showed rot.
The tree trunk showing a center which was gone.
Around Long Island we sometimes have Nor Easters which are storms that are similar to winter hurricanes. Winds can be up as high as 65-70 mph. Trees can be twisted and fall in all directions. The expense of cutting down a tree cannot begin to cover the expense of restoring a house that has been hit.
This was actually the first section of wood that the tree people threw into the driveway. Since I have been carrying wood for years to my wood burning stove, I know first hand how heavy even a small section of Ash can be. When you look up at a tree from the ground, the limbs are deceptively light weight. Then they fall on something. Sometimes you just have to make a choice. The tree company was wonderful and we did it by the book, getting a permit from the town and had the trees looked by an inspector before we cut them down. As soon as weather permits, I will replant the lot line with trees that are medium sized at full height, probably some Leyland Cypress trees which do well in this boggy area.