Thursday, April 29, 2010

Timberrrrrrrr...

This photo was taken before we bought this house. See those two short palms on the left side of the cabana -- they are just over half as tall as those posts. In August, that will have been 7 years ago. There were also two other palms on the other side of the pool - all 4 of them almost the same size when we moved in.

This was shot about 2 years ago - they have crested the cabana roof on the right of the photo.

And this is from Tuesday evening. They tower above the roof. They are too tall for my husband to prune any more, and they are completely out of scale with the rest of the landscape and property. Personally, I would not have planted trees that grow that tall. But, I didn't plant them, and while I did enjoy them for the last 7 years, I decided it was time for them to go.
And so they did!

I was shocked at how easily they came down. It took two men just one hour to fell all 4 of those huge palms. First they roped them, using a plastic-coated wire rope with what looked like a giant fishing sinker on the end. After lassoing the tree, one guy pulled and one guy sawed.

Then, "Timeberrrrrr..."


They cut up the biggest pieces and left me with dead palm parts all over my yard.

The next day, a different crew of 2 guys who work for my landscape design installation foreman came to cut up more, load those massive pieces into a trailer and to cut the stumps down flush with the ground.
I never anticipated how bare it would look without the palms. Because they towered so high, I didn't think of them as being that prominent. But they were!
The roots fascinated me. They were huge. The biggest base diameter was about 2.5 feet across.
Today they came back with the chainsaws and picks and shovels and cut and dug and whacked away at those fibrous and very short roots on the outside edges of the trunk. It really is amazing that those tall trees stand with such a small shallow root. And we have lots of strong winds up here on this hill.
They left some big holes, some pieces of wall that need remortaring and 1 broken pipe.
Not bad, when the original plan included a bobcat destroying the walls, my grass and sprinklers in multiple places. Didn't need the bobcat, and the roots were much easier than any of us anticipated.

(Easy for me to say, right, since I wasn't the one out there sweating like crazy doing about the hardest work I can imagine for several days.)

After the wall is fixed and the sprinkler repaired by the end of next week, one new Pindo palm will grace the back left corner of the pool bed. The oak tree shaded one of the previous palms and as a result, it never grew evenly with its mate. (Drove me crazy) So I won't be planting two sister palms, just one further in the corner and then something different will go on the other end to anchor that bed.

I'm not sure what I will do behind the cabana -- the pindos are too wide with their arching fronds and would be in the way of the shades between those posts.

So, now I have one hole, and one completely empty new bed! Those two cabana palms took up most of that bed and I let a Datura take over the rest, never bothering to put anything else in there.

But now...

17 comments:

Carol said...

I have zero experience growing palm trees in the landscape, but had always read they are shallow rooted. Looks like quite the process to remove them... looking forward to seeing your new plantings!

Diana said...

Those are the biggest buggers I've ever had in my gardens! But they were too big - didn't look good any more. Hard for me, as I hate killing any plant intentionally. (Kill plenty unintentionally!)Can't wait to see your do-over and fab new design.

mss @ Zanthan Gardens said...

What an operation! You're so brave. I would have had to have had the tequila AND breathe into the paper bag.

At least it didn't go like this...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDzuWLsSVuQ

Diana said...

MSS- I was terrified. Really. And dreading it. But I really felt it needed to be done.Guys who felled them so professional, could tell right away they were experience and knew their stuff. Thank goodness not like the UTube dorks!

Annie in Austin said...

I think you're brave, too - Diana! And it must have been harder to make the decision because even though they'd outgrown the space and were growing wrong, the palms were alive and green.
The decision might be easier in my neighborhood where most of the palms look dead after winter.

It will be interesting to see what you with the empty spots!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Diana said...

Yes, Annie - there was still some green in there with lots of dead fronds. But we couldn't prune dead ones any more without hiring tree service to shimmy up.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Those were some mighty trees. Amazing what you can do with a little help from a crew of men. I will be interested to see what you do in these areas now.

Diana said...

Lisa -- Yes, my "guys" are great. With this impenetrable clay and my bad arms, I am mostly limited to 4" pots and the occasional gallow or two or three. Any project bigger than that, I've gotta get a little help. But now I have holes in ready-made beds so I can have a field day!

Janet said...

You certainly changed the look around the pool area. Seven years is very little time for them to grow so large. While I understand the need to get them out, wrong plant wrong place, I do like palms.

Diana said...

Janet - They did seem to grow fast, but I've never grown them, either. I'll miss them, but am excited about the Pindo - like its structure much more.

getgrounded said...

Wow, I didn't expect that bed to look so bare either! All the eye saw was the trunks, but obviously that large texture filled up a lot of space visually. What fun to get to explore something new there! You ARE brave to take them out in the midst of growing season, and I love your decisiveness in your garden. And the pool cabana is MUCH prettier since you've owned it, I have to say.

Diana said...

GetGrounded - It is surprising how much difference it made, isn't it? Thx for the nice comments about area - the previous owners just had all the wrong things in all around there! (But who am I to judge? tee hee) I'll add palms to long list of things I have purged in 7 years!

Gail said...

It is scary having trees come down in an established yard! But they always seem to do what the arborist expects~from my experience, unlike the youtube link MSS shared! gail

Jayne said...

Wow - it makes a big difference. I can't wait to see how the area evolves now.

Patchwork said...

That did make a huge difference. Not sure I'd have been so brave, to take out trees.

Can't wait to see what you do with those beds. I'm sure it'll be great.

Have a good weekend.

~~Linda...

Cindy, MCOK said...

What an undertaking! I wish my neighbors across the alley would do the same w/their overgrown palm. It hasn't looked good for several years now but it's flat out ugly after our harsh winter.

Have fun planting the new bed area!

Lancashire rose said...

Don't you feel liberated. I know I did when I cut down the overgrown Texas Mountain Laurel. It is good that they got those roots out as this is often the hardest part of tree removal. All ready for the new palms.