Friday, January 7, 2011

Leaning Ash Trees Come Down Choosing Between Old Trees and an Old House

 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.



I would not have hesitated what needed to be done! Clearly, they were unsightly (I never like to see ivy covered trunks) and the lot line gives you an opportunity to frame the house with new trees. Having lived on LI, too, I dreaded hurricane season!
Good shots!

Elizabeth said...

I was REALLY interested in this post.
Yes, chopping trees down is a bit traumatic but, in this case, necessary.
Do NOT replace with Leylandia.
Hideously suburban.

JC said...

We are having two trees cut down at our beach place. The county has decided they need to go. So, I don't have to pay a thing. Since I don't live there full time, your photos are probably what they'll be doing to my yard.

(not the same type of tree but dead and could come down in a storm ... that's what they told us and thus they are doing it for free)

jane spalholz said...

You did what you needed to do. The rot inside those trees is proof. We did the same thing this fall.

Bernie said...

What a coincedence that I finally managed to get to your blog today and your post is all about cutting down very tall old trees. That's exactly what hubbie is doing today.

Of course, here it's cyclones that we have to be wary of ... and old Eucalypts are notorious for suddenly dropping huge branches of just simply falling over. We have two huge Cadaghi Gum trees over our driveway and close to our house and another Eucalypt right behind our bedroom wing. Not the best positions for trees known to be unstable when they grow old.

I just wish hubbie would get the professionals in to do the job, but apparently that's not the solution when you can do it yourself! We shall see how it all pans out ... I have the feeling I'm going to be looking at squashed sections of garden this afternoon!