Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Bye-Bye Birch Tree

During our first winter in the farmhouse, a severe storm took down several branches from the big birch tree just behind the house, near my blueberry and herb beds. Papa Dude topped it, knowing that it would probably have to come down soon, but we both love birches so much we tried to save it. Well, my little pear tree, which is behind the birch, and had produced a bumper crop of pears our first year here, has done very badly the last two years, producing a total of 3 pears in that time. So we decided to take the birch down. Here is the Dude, taking off all the big branches before cutting the trunks. (As usual, feel free to click on the photos to enlarge.)
Here is what was left when he finished. He is planning on building a table-top on top of the birch stumps, and enlarging the little deck. The bridge, on the right in the photo, is broken (a branch landed on it, and it was breaking up anyhow) will be removed. The white tripod is where my grapes are planted. I am hoping they do better with more sun this year. To the left of the little deck is my blueberry bed. No blueberry bushes were harmed in the dropping of the tree, but my clothesline is toast. I do hope the blueberries do well this year. I am going to have to fence in my entire garden area this spring so the darn chickens don't eat my sprouts- if they eat my blueberry flowers this year, they will end up as Sunday dinner! (Probably not, but it really made me mad when they did this last year- you know how I love my blueberries!)
Here is a view from as close to the back door as I could get. You have a better view of the stumps, and the broken bridge. So the deck will come around where the bridge is now. See that apple tree directly behind the stumps, down in the chicken yard? It is very tall, very old, and the few apples it produces are not very good. We are trying to decide if it will come down, or if it will be pruned severely and turned into a treehouse tree.
Here is my sweet baby pear tree. It is just starting to bud, and looks so pretty. I am really hoping that sacrificing the birch will have been worth it, and that it will be covered in big green pears this summer. That is the neighbor's garage behind it.
This is my herb garden. It needs a lot of work. This is basically a "before" photo for you- I plan on building some raised beds, and putting in some raspberry canes behind the pear tree there. And yes, that big pile of brush from the one day I weeded the herb bed is still there.
We would like to get another birch, and find a good place for it, but for now, we are content with having an extra bit of sun here. Wish my pear tree luck.


Amy said...

I love garden planning. Implementation I'm not so good at.

I'm sorry you had to lose a tree, but it sounds like you have great plans!

Lisa said...

Too bad about the birch tree, we like them too.

Thanks for the wonderful yard tour! It's always great to see what people plant in their gardens and what trees they have in their yards. That apple tree would make awesome firewood for a fireplace if you have one.

We love blueberries too. Dh eats them every day. I suppose I shouldn't tell you that we have four acres of low-bush wild Maine blueberry field in coastal Maine. We try to go up each August to harvest some for the freezer, but most of the field goes for the birds and bears. If you're ever up that way in August you'd be welcome to some :-).

Needleroozer said...

Yeah, I am lousy at the implementation, too. That is why many of the seeds I plant this year are actually LAST YEAR'S seeds!

Oh man, I am very envious!! Most people give me a hard time with my 9 berry bushes- you have 4 acres?!?! Man! And yes, the apple tree will end up in the fireplace if we cut it- the Dude is hoping there might be some interesting wood that he could do something with- make a bowl, or something arty. We shall see.

Anonymous said...

...sniff...I miss the birch already...but understand and know that greater good is coming. Remember when we took several trees out of the back yard in Bothell? So sad at the time, but it really did open up sun and healthy space for the remaining treasures.

Looking forward to seeing what your Pear baby brings you!!

Thanks for sharing,