Monday 17 November 2014

Tough Love For Our Willow Trees

    Back in 1977 when we bought our place in McBride, BC, there were 4 small willow trees (about 4 ft (1.2m) high growing in the yard, that the previous owner had planted.  We dug them up and transplanted them in different locations, because of our expansion plans for the house.  The trees  must have liked what they found in their transplanted locations because they thrived over the years, growing thicker, taller and more spread out.
    We didn’t really pay much attention to them, but we appreciated the shade and coolness that they provided during the summer.  Birds were flitting all over the trees finding food and resting.  It was fun to watch the squirrels travel from one area of the yard to another, by leaping from branch to branch and tree to tree.  What we didn’t notice in all my enjoyment was just how big the willows were getting and how many of their huge branches were arching over our house.
    When I did finally notice it, I began to worry, because the branches were so big and heavy and if they came down, they would inflict major damage on our house.  Last winter when there was a lot of snow on our roof, I decided to take some action and try to cut off some of the overhanging branches while the roof was padded with the thick snow layer.  With the use of some ropes and my truck as ballast, I was able to cut a few of the thick overarching branches and gently lower them down to the roof, where I cut them up for firewood.
    However most of the branches were just too high and more vertical, preventing me from getting  a rope around them up high, so I had to let them remain.
    A couple of weeks ago, I noticed a tree trimming crew working on a neighbor’s trees, so I stopped in and made arrangements for the crew to come and “top” my willows.  They had a big truck with a boom on it that would lift the faller high into the air, enabling him to deal with my really tall willows.  
    Because we love our trees so much it was a hard decision to make.  While “topping” a drastic solution and is really not very good for the health of the tree, we felt that we had to do something about the trees, and preferred topping to cutting the whole tree down.  I was worried about how the operation would go and I was curious as to how the trimmer would deal with those high arching branches without damaging the metal roof on our house.  
    Tomorrow I will continue with tough love story.

You can see my paintings at:

No comments:

Post a Comment