Wednesday, August 01, 2012

A plum good job

It took two and a half years. Back in late February 2010, we had a serious storm that killed people on the coast, flooded a bunch of towns, and whose heavy winds wreaked havoc inland. We got the winds. That night the wind howled and we hunkered down in the house to ride it out. The next morning we assessed the damage. We were very lucky: we only had some tiles blown off the roof and our two plum trees were knocked over. Oh, and no electricity for a week.

Spring 2011. Both trees on their sides for over a year. I had started cutting before I thought to take a photo.

The roof got repaired that day. But the trees were another matter. We decided that we'd let the trees stay put for the summer in the hope that they'd produce a good crop because they were stressed. Then, in the fall, we'd cut them up for firewood. Well, fall came and went with no cutting; we were painting our attic and I injured my back. So the trees stayed through the winter. Year one had passed.

Spring 2011. One tree gone. The pile of debris is on the right side of the photo.

That spring of 2011, I got the chainsaw out and started cutting. I piled the branches up on the lawn nearby intending to cut them all up with loppers for kindling. I made a smaller pile of the larger logs for burning in the wood stove. Summer came and with visitors and the vegetable garden taking our time, we left the piles for another year. The tree stumps were still half in the ground. Suckers started growing up from the tree roots.

Spring 2011. Both trees are cut up and only the stumps remain. The big one got cut farther down.

During the winter of 2011-2012, I made several trips out to the kindling pile and cut up branches as I needed them to start fires in the wood stove. The pile got reduced by about a quarter. Then spring arrived. Determined not to leave the branches in the yard for another year, I spent a morning working to cut them up and move them to the wood shed. A job well done, albeit well late.

Summer 2012. The debris pile is gone, as are both stumps. Only bare patches remain.

That left the stumps still in the ground. Ken was convinced that he could dig around them and we could cut and saw and get them out ourselves. He worked very hard to do just that. When he was ready, I helped with the dislodging of the stumps and the chopping of the remaining roots. We managed to get both stumps free without major injury to ourselves.

Now the yard is free of the mess and we're letting the lawn regrow over the bare patches. Our hope is to plant a cherry tree out there as soon as it's tree-planting time.


  1. It looks good.

    What a difference a year or two make!

  2. I had to chuckle when I saw this post. I have a dead tree in my back yard as a result of the terrible drought last year here in Texas. During a heavy rain storm this past month a major limb split off and down in the yard. I've been intending to rent a chain saw since winter but haven't. My yard is not as large as yours so I need to get it down before it causes damage to a neighbors fence. I thought I might have to rent a stump grinder as well. I heard one can pour syrup on the stump and it will decompose at a rapid rate? Who knows? I'm glad you got yours down and the area cleaned up though.

  3. Ah, such great satisfaction, I'm sure.

  4. You guys just plug away and always get things done, even it is in stages (which I think is best, actually). Great job, men!


  5. It's about time! I was going to say something about that unsightly mess laying about but I didn't want to be rude. wink!
    Good job! Can wait to see the cherry trees in place. Hopefully it won't take two and half years!

  6. No one would ever know what had been in those bare spots now. I echo Judith's statement, "Well done, men!"

    Mary in Oregon

  7. gaynor, you can say that again!

    rick, good luck! I've never heard about the syrup trick. I do know there are chemicals you can buy that supposedly do the same thing.

    mitch, yup!

    judy, not bad for a couple of geezers. ;)

    mark, well, we needed room for the above-ground pool and trampoline.

    mary, I still have to get those bare patches filled a bit more and leveled out. Fortunately, some moles have raised hills elsewhere in the yard and I'll transfer some of that dirt.

    evelyn, much better, for sure!


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