January 10, 2010
My husband and I managed to buy a bank owned house. The bank told us that the house had been empty since January, so we took that to mean a little over six months. Talking to the neighbors, we found out that it really meant 18 months. That would explain why the grapes are growing up into the dogwood and into the neighbor’s maple tree. But they were good grapes – neglected with a really hot summer made them really tasty. I just pruned them back into our yard and out of the trees and off of other plants.
Apparently, the original owners hired some landscaper to come in, who planted a whole bunch of evergreen trees. There were 12 trees along an 80’ fence, and all were taller than the house. That is 6 feet of diameter allowed per tree, so the trees aren’t exactly healthy. I would love to keep the blue spruce, but the sides of it are completely dead due to the other trees. In fact, we have no lawn, only moss, as sunlight doesn’t hit the ground.
So, the first thing that happen was that we cut out two trees that were right up against the house, a middle tree in the front yard that you can’t even tell was there because the other two have filled up the void, another tree in a bad place that would get tall if we left it alone, and one very large shrub that was blocking the entire dinning room window. We then limbed up all the other trees, which allowed light in. In one case, limbing the tree allowed visibility to pull out of the driveway safely.
Meanwhile, the neighbors are cheering, as they thought the house looked dark and hated the limbs coming into their yard. I actually have a picture taken inside the house during a summer day, and it looks like night time.
While my father was taking of limbs, I told him to go ahead and remove a tree on the corner of the lot because it had hardly any leaves on it in August. The neighbor’s maple was getting all the light. Only once he fell the small sickly tree did we realize it was a crab apple tree. Curses! I could use those for cider. Or could I? If we couldn’t tell in August that it was a crab apple, then there probably wasn’t enough crab apples on it to use. It was a sick tree.
The place has eight blueberry bushes, which I’m excited about, except that they are also planted too close together and some of them are really tiny compared to others, so I will try to transplant every other one to other places when we get the place a little more in shape. It also had some Marion berries, but last year, they never ripened, but instead were green and started fermenting on the vine. If they don’t do well this next year, we will probably take them out and replace them with something else.
Unfortunately, we recently had a windstorm take out half of a tree, so we called in a logging company, who took out six of the taller, more difficult trees. We hate doing it, and it was costly, but these trees are just not healthy. As a result, our moss lawn is dying because it can’t hack having that much sunlight on them.
I have placed an order for two apple trees with the Home Orchard Society to plant in that area. That’s right – I’m eventually going to put five trees along the 80’ fence line, giving each tree 16’ of space. To boot, they shouldn’t grow taller than the house. Healthy trees, nice shade, happy owner.