Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Good-Bye Sweet Gum Trees...

we have a lovely backyard...with lovely trees. But they are Sweet Gum trees, which grow very high and provide great shade...however...they are on the evil side. Truly. They emit these horrific spike balls. All the time. It never ends. And they make you fall down, which happened to me two or three times this past year.
This garden picture above represents about 2 truck loads of cleanup. In late winter, the view from my kitchen window is of a yard with six inches of sweet gum spike balls, and leaves, and snow, and ice, and mud.
So when I should be building a snowman, I am clearing a path through the snow to sled on....and I am shoveling spike balls, and snow.
I then spend the next THREE months cleaning up balls, and slipping down the incline of the yard on them. While others in homes around me plant little flowers and enjoy themselves.
I've known over the last seven years, that I could not keep these trees into old age. It's too much for me now.
So this week they were cut down. The sky is huge. The soil is ravaged, and the grass too. The house looks larger. It might look like when it was first built with a bare yard. The sunlight is streaming into the house in new ways.
I am so glad this was taken care of now...and not when I'm old. It's pretty intense. The trees were eighty feet tall. The workers were repelling down the trees with chain saws. Additionally, the yard will take a while to renew itself. So it's really just the start of a new garden and new things to come. We may have a VERY sunny backyard now, but it will be usable. for years it was such a burden, and a worry and an aggravation. I am trying to get my head around not ever raking up another spike ball. what will I do with myself now?!

April 25,2011 update:
This particular blog post gets so many hits. Many people out there must have the spike ball problem!
I thought I would update everyone with some photos of our yard now- two years after we had the trees removed. We LOVE not having those darn balls all over our grass. Our yard is still lumpy from the tree removal equipment tearing it up. However, everything looks so much better now. We've been able to concentrate our efforts on other things. We removed the trees along the back property line, when our elderly neighbor announced she was installing a fence. We also added plantings to the side of the yard. It's SO much nicer. Still very sunny, but becoming a new yard for sure. Here's some photos:


Rachel-Marie said...

ahhh! Craziness, look at that gigantor log!

REAS said...

ohhhhhhh my goodnesssss! Spike balls were a childhood addiction. Our neighbor had the largest tree in his front yard. We use to peg one another with them (especially with the ones that dried up and were super spiky)...yup evil huh! I was such a tomboy! Kinda still am (lol) I could see how those trees would be super annoying!