I have just finished working on the bushes in the west yard, near the fire pit, for the day. It’s not finished, but there is a storm moving in, and I did get the big stuff done.
So I have after pictures I can show you.
I actually went deeper in then I’d intended to. I started in the area around the linden and plum trees, to get more dead branches down, and everything was getting so hung up, I had to go further in, just to stop that from happening.
In the process, I found the lilacs that used to form a tunnel I’d crawled into as a child.
Yeah. Most of the lilacs are dead.
Between these and the tree directly behind the linden tree, there was just no way to avoid getting hung up on dead branches.
Here is the after, for this area.
Still lots to clean up, but the dead stuff is mostly gone. The remains of the lilacs might actually survive. They are very hardy.
Here is what it looked like around the linden tree, when I finished up.
Then I started working my way down the rows.
Here is the before of the first section;
I believe this is another crab apple tree, and it looks like it has some sort of fungal disease. I cut away lots. Here is it, now.
I freed up more plum trees in the process.
There are still signs of spotted and yellowing leaves higher up in the apple tree, but I got as much as I could reach for now.
While working in between the rows (there are three rows in total, in this location), if I had to choose between getting rid of a caragana and something else, or a false spirea and something else, I would choose the something else. This was not a difficult thing as, in the process, as the “something else” was usually a fruit tree. I also found a giant caragana in the back row. Unfortunately, the biggest trunk of it was dead and so rotten, I broke it off and yanked it out without having to cut anything.
In fact, I was doing that a lot, today. Yanking stuff out right by the roots, or breaking them and pulling them out.
The next section has a dead tree in it. Here is what it looked like before.
There was a lot of false spirea around the base of it. In clearing that out…
… I freed up some more plum trees.
That dead tree is going to need more than the little hand saw to take it down! So it stays, for now. Though I was able to just break a branch off of it.
Next was another crab apple tree.
This one has a lot of tiny apples starting to grow on it, but it also is starting to show spots on the leaves. 😦
Also, a lot more of it was dead then I thought!
I was taking out lots of dead branches, and even a couple of trunks.
Like this one.
This is probably the biggest thing I cleaned out today. It wasn’t until I cut it, then started dragging it out, that I realized how big it was, so much was hidden among the branches.
There is still lots to do here, including clearing out the section of false spirea at the end, so I can reach the dead lilacs behind it. It’s going to be a while before all the bits of dead branches and twigs on the ground are cleaned up, though I did take out the hidden ones I found by stepping on them.
All of this was about 3 hours of work, give or take.
When I was a kid and mowing the lawn in this area, when the crab apples at the end of the row were full of fruit, I would pick a whole bunch of them when I went under it, I would eat them as I mowed my circuit, then gather more when I got back. They were small, hard green apples, and very sour. I loved them!
We also had a pear tree next to this crab apple tree. It was another small, hard variety. My father told me about having this variety when he was growing up in Poland. They were too hard to eat as they were, but they would be gathered and buried under rocks in the fall. In the winter, they would freeze. Later, the rocks would be removed, and the frozen pears taken out. The freezing not only softened them, but made them sweet, as well.
I have no idea what happened to that tree.
I also wonder what happened to the mountain ash (aka rowan) that used to be here, about were the current diseased apple tree is. We had a few of them. They never got very big; nothing like the ones in the city we just moved from – I had no idea they got that big until we started living there! But they were beautiful, and produced masses of red berries.
A lot has changed over the years we’ve been away, but a surprising amount has stayed the same, too.