Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A radical change of view

Landscape makeovers can be dramatic. This is the view from my kitchen window before and after last week's big tree culling operation.

When we moved here 11 years ago, the line of too-closely planted spruces trees along the laneway was not as oppressive as it became over a decade. Planted by previous owners, the trees were supposed to function as a windbreak, but they clogged the lane with snow in winter, blocked the view, and cut the property in half visually.

I never liked them at all, and in recent years they began to look more and more like an oppressive black wall. I was resigned to them until they started needing yearly trimming to keep from encroaching the laneway. They were expensive to take down, but we're glad we bit the bullet. They have been chipped into mulch, which we will move to our service area and let compost for a couple of years. After that, we can use the mulch in our gardens.

Do I feel bad about having cut so many trees down? No: over the years, we have planted so many trees that our balance sheet is healthy on that score. I really must count all the trees we planted, but I'll bet the number is well over 100.

© Yvonne Cunnington, Country Gardener


  1. I almost lost my breath! but do admit that it is a nicer, more open view in addition to not having to prune them and hopefully less snow in the laneway in the future.
    Good that you had the "courage" to take them down - because you aren't always able to envision the result beforehand.

  2. Hi Salix: The garden designer part of me always knew those trees would have to go. But the tree lover part of me was reluctant to do the deed. I'm glad we had the courage (and money) at last to do it.

    Cheers, Yvonne

  3. Anonymous10:31 AM

    It looks much better- and really the trees were suffering from lack of space. I've been guilty myself of not planning well. Nothing like the right plant in the wrong spot or spacing!

  4. Wow what a great view! Are those Maples left there? What a great reuse of those pesky trees! I can't wait to see the summer look.

  5. Hi Eve: Yup, those maples were there, though it was hard to tell with all the spruces. The maples aren't in good shape, as they were planted too close to the laneway too, and they don't like compaction over their roots. We'll have to add some saplings better spaced for the future. The tree service guy said the existing maples will definitely last another five to 10 years.

  6. Thanks for visiting Tessa. I know what you mean. I've overplanted too. It's a hard thing to avoid when a place is barren-looking.

  7. Yvonne,

    What a great decision. While I generally hate to see large, mature trees cut down, I too have cut down misplaced trees to improve the landscape, while at the same time planting other more suitable trees. There is always a leap of faith involved because you never exactly know how it is going to look, so bravo!

    -Heirloom Gardener

  8. Thanks for your vote of confidence, Heirloom Gardener. I wasn't going to blog about this move because it's so radical to cut down trees, and appears anti "green". I really appreciated your comment. -Yvonne


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-Yvonne, aka Country Gardener