Backyard Project: Tree Removal

We had a busy weekend. I would say I’m just now recovering from it, and I didn’t even do the heavy lifting.

When we bought our house a year ago, we knew right away that we weren’t thrilled with two of the three trees in our backyard. In each back corner, there stood a tall, messy, bushy tree. We eventually found out they were oak trees, which made me feel a tiny bit guilty that I hated them so much. But, it was already decided that they would eventually have to go. And by eventually, I mean as soon as possible. The plan was to replace them with fruit trees and since it always takes several years for fruit trees to be established and actually start producing fruit, we wanted to get them in the ground ASAP.

We went about finding a quote for a tree removal service. We were quoted $600 something dollars per tree. Egads…I guess I was actually expecting it to be even more, but still. It’s a lot of money. Then, our good friend Robert, who is a jack of all trades kind of guy and used to be an arborist told us that this tree removal project was “child’s play” and that he could have the tree down in an hour. We asked if he would help us in exchange for dinner, a bottle of scotch and our eternal gratitude. A deal was made and off to work we went.

We were lucky that Saturday was a gorgeous day. 75 degrees with barely a breeze. Lovely!

Robert prepared the chainsaw, borrowed from a neighbor.

Quentin helped mama document the adventure (but not the part when the chainsaw was on)

First few branches removed. We could tell at this point that the real work was going to be cleaning up all the branches and leaves after the tree was down.

You can’t see him, but Robert is up in the tree.

Quentin went down for a nap, so I got to work removing leaves from larger branches so we could keep those as kindling.

Trevor, hard at work.

Robert, cutting up our firewood for next winter.

Time to get the rest of it down…devising a game plan.

The guys, enjoying a well-deserved beer.

Meanwhile, Quentin and I prepared lunch. Quiche Lorraine with a salad on the side. Complete with espresso and chocolate for dessert.

And, because it was so beautiful, we ate out on the grass.

Quentin was excited for his avocado.

Getting a taste of what spring feels like for the first time.

The big pile of branches is still on our patio, but luckily, we borrowed a brush chipper from a friend. The plan is to make mulch out of the small branches/leaves, and to save the larger branches for kindling.

And done.

Having the tree out really changes the look of our backyard. I wouldn’t say it’s for the better at this point, but I think it will be really nice once we get the stump removed and plant a fruit tree. I’ve been dreaming about what kind of fruit tree we’re going to plant. I’m kind of thinking apricot right now, but my mind isn’t totally made up. Any suggestions?


6 thoughts on “Backyard Project: Tree Removal

  1. Robert

    That was a lot of fun.

    While it's always sad to remove a tree I know that the replacement will have more value to your lives and it's certainly comforting knowing that nearly every molecule of the old tree will be used as landscape mulch, firewood, and kindling.

    The oak did not live in vain!

  2. Julie

    Yes, I agree with you that it is sad to remove a tree. We will definitely be replacing it, though. Hopefully it will end up being better! And I'm thrilled that we are using it all up rather than taking the debris out to the street for the city to remove. The mulch will be wonderful for the yard! Thank you again, Robert 🙂

  3. Shannon

    Looks like a lot of hard work, but the lunch outside looked divine. I can't wait until the weather gets a little more temperate! I can't remember what part of the country you live in, but any kind of fruit would be delightful. I remember a friend living in SoCal had an avocado tree had that seemed the HEIGHT of luxury! I'd also love a heritage apple, pear, pomegranate or maybe even a citrus tree. Mmm…

  4. Julie

    Ooh avocados are great! They don't really preserve well though…

    I'm in Northern California, so lots of fruit trees will do well here. We have 2 lemon trees already (a Eureka and a Meyer). I'd definitely use oranges but EVERYONE in our neighborhood has either a lemon tree or orange tree, so I feel like something outside the box would be good. I love pears! And what I wouldn't give for a cherry tree. But apparently you need to have at least 2 so they pollinate each other. Hmm…oh the possibilities 🙂

  5. Shannon

    NoCal! Fun! I grew up in Sonoma County. We didn't have any fruit trees though, sadly. You live in an awesome climate for growing. I can't wait to hear what you decide on!

  6. Julie

    Ooh Sonoma County….beautiful!! I dream of retiring there. Preferably with chickens and goats, and a friend who is a wine maker.


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