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...