This is our spruce tree in the front yard. It was planted by the former owners of this house when the house was built (in 1963), and was several years old at the time. It was truly a sheltering tree and home to many birds whom we could hear chirping from spring to fall.
However, with its shallow root system and immense size, as well as the windy conditions we experience regularly at the mouth of Big
Cottonwood Canyon as storms come and go, well, it had become a potential hazard. Had it toppled, it would easily have crushed our home or the neighbors'. Nevertheless, it was a very sad day yesterday when it was time to have it removed.
At about noon, the tree removal company arrived with their trucks and equipment. In the first picture (above left), they've just begun cutting off some branches. To the above right, the picture shows the tree as it looked as they prepared to fell it. In addition to stripping the bottom half, they'd also cut branches out around the power line running on the near (west) side of the tree. It's pretty tough to see the tow line connecting the tree to the truck in the far left corner, which will pull it down. But you can see our house in comparison, as well as the neighbor's house and our beautiful snow-covered mountains in the background. It was a beautiful sunny but cool day.
Timber! This became quite the neighborhood spectacle. Everyone must have been starved for entertainment.. I thought I was prepared mentally, but emotionally I wasn't. And I hadn't prepared for the noise......... the groaning, cracking, and thud........ It was over in a few painful seconds.
Under its skirt. I asked them, as they were cutting up branches, to watch for and save any birds nests they came across. Either they forgot or there weren't any, because they didn't save any.
So the neighbors returned to their lives while the crew spent the next few hours chopping up and chipping the remains of the tree, as well as splitting logs for firewood. Our front yard looks bare. Ugly, even, because nothing has awakened from winter. The lone green sentinel is gone. But spring will come, and we have plans....
We'd like to fence in a small area and grow a garden. Yep, in the front yard (we already have one in the back). Check out this idea from Mother Earth News from a 2008 issue.
Ours would be smaller in scale with a minimalist arch for an arbor to support some climbing roses. The outer area will be planted in drought-tolerant native plants (xeriscaping), and the interior will house vegetables and herbs. And hopefully some of the birds will forgive us and return...........