This past week we had a tree service come in and remove the poplar and a maple from the back fence area, and take a few dead limbs down off the oak. I have no good pictures, but it was a pretty great show while I had breakfast. They used neighboring trees like cranes to support the tree being cut, so it could come down in sections. I admit to being glad they were fully insured while I watched, though.
The poplar is the skinny white trunked tree near where the guys are standing. It came down first, suspended from the oak. Then one of the two maples behind the oak came out. The poplar was fed into an industrial size chipper/shredder, but the maple’s carcass is still here:
When we eventually split it, it will make good firewood.
Once the trees were done, we spent most of the weekend clearing and leveling the back corner.
The primary subjects were the mound of dirt between the oak and maple, and the depression over by where Guinness is sniffing.
First the white pine came out. We wanted to do that before filling the hole, so the stump would be buried. It was kind of a straggler. (The red spruce will eventually come out too, but not yet.) Then we dug out the stones that lined the Forever Wild corner. I was pretty disappointed when I realized those cute little stones were about the top 15% of much larger, heavier, and less cute stones.
See what I mean about the rocks?
Then came the leveling. First I dug out the mound and moved most of it to a low-lying area to the left. The fence had been gapping over the soil there, so leveling it out gave the advantage of filing it in to stop the gapping. Guinness may someday get a 4-footed sibling, and we don’t want a puppy wriggling through.
Then we finally had to face it. The 5 cubic yards of soil we’d had delivered.
The rest of the day involved a lot of this:
and a lot of raking with the landscaping rake to spread it. By the end of a longer day than we’d expected, we’d spread about 4.5 of the 5 cubic yards. It looked pretty good!
Even after 4+ cubic yards of soil, the hole is still a relatively low point in the yard, but now it follows the curve and isn’t so extreme.
It’s hard to believe all the area that’s not covered in grass used to be essentially given up to wild and useless.
Fully exhausted, it was time to sit back and use our highly technical low spot finding device. An hour or so later… there it is.
Sunday morning it was back to the wheelbarrow for the last handful of runs. We extended the soil out onto the grass a little more to fill in where the puddle was forming, and filled in a couple random holes and depressions in the yard. There was a small celebration when the driveway got to this point:
We threw grass seed down on the areas that are supposed to be grass, and planted the four hollies across the back fence line, about 4.5 feet off the fence, and 8-10 feet apart.
The weekend was a HUGE amount of work. We are both exhausted and sore. It’s sort of disappointing that for now, it isn’t very exciting to look at:
But with a little mulch and a few more plants, I think it will look pretty good. And one of the unexpected benefits to having had some of the trees removed is that I now appreciate some of the mature trees that we have a lot more:
Before, it was hard to notice or appreciate the oak because it got lost in all the scrub. So, hi there now! I can’t wait to put a hammock between the oak and the maple.
And with that we sign off for the week with just a few pictures of spring in Guin’s Yard:
Guinness likes the smell of spring.
and so do his people!
Lilac bloom is a pretty pleasant time to pick to be outside all weekend hauling dirt!
Read Full Post »