Saturday, May 14, 2011

Tree down.

That large red maple in the front yard? The beautiful, massive, overarching canopy that shades our home and accents our front yard?

The one whose shallow roots soak up moisture and prevent any kind of grass growth?

It's doomed.

Last year, I treated an emerging hole in the trunk after carpenter ants got inside.

This year, they're crunching so much that sawdust puddles around the base of the tree. And the carpenter ants now have a well-worn highway not only to that hole but a large wound in an upper branch, the remnant of the limb that fell and hit our house ten years ago.

I've consulted with two arborists and six tree companies. All say the same: it's going to fall down, and it can't be saved. (Only one told us want we wanted to hear, that they could TRY, that they might, possibly, perhaps save the main part of the tree - but couldn't promise that it would work and that I'd probably end up having to spend the same amount of money again to take it down.)

The bids on removing that tree are spectacularly wide-ranging, and all are big-gulp expensive.

I'll have to transplant all the recently planted hellebores and rethink the foundation plants chosen for their shade-loving traits. Pressure wash the house (now nicely screened by the canopy). And wait six months to a year before we can plant another tree.

Darn it. The house is going to look naked without our beautiful maple tree.

A small hole with a huge rotted area in the trunk. We treated it last year, killing the carpenter ants and filling the hole with expanding foam, to no avail.

The original culprit: when the massive limb fell and hit our house, it caused an ugly wound in the center limb. Now it's twice as large and filled with rot and insects.

The evidence: I washed away the sawdust a week ago and another pile is quickly forming.


  1. so sorry to hear it's doomed...i LOVE large trees. There are 4 huge oaks in my backyard and each windstorm brings fear of them popping at some point.
    I've really enjoyed the riverbirch my hubs put in a few years has grown quickly and provided quick shade. ;)

  2. I had three people quote a tree removal and Griffin Tree Service (from AHA lady) was by far the best price.


Thanks for sharing your thoughts - it's great to hear from you!