Thursday, July 19, 2012

Trimming Cedar Bushes

About every five years or so we have to trim the cedar bushes/trees. This can be quite a chore. Turtle is allergic to them, so we proceed with caution. He pulls out the handy-dandy teeny tiny little chain saw that fits on the end of the weed-eater. (Weed-eating, by the way, is Turtle's sole domain. I can't manage the weight safely with grass blades on it, let alone with the chain saw.) Then we walk over to the trees and I show him which branches need loping off--those that are shooting out in odd directions and those that are growing toward the ground. Eventually, we get it right. I spend a little time with garden cutters of various types, up underneath the tree dome, pruning out dead wood and branches that are full of dry leaves. Pruning shears work well until they get dull--same for garden snips and for that not very effective cross-cut saw.

For five of the trees, this was the second pruning. They had gotten to look just a little too much like Dr. Seuss trees--top heavy with long, pointy branches of wispy leaves. The sixth tree/bush-trosity had never been pruned. It squatted on the side lawn like a great green cave. My grandchildren used to hide beneath the branches, and, at one point it was home for a cottontail or two. There was no way to get a mower to the underside of it.

After we cut all the bottom branches away, it looked like this. It seems small in this picture, but imagine me, trying to reach the top to tweak off an unruly leaf or two--I can't, ok, and that's why they are still there! We collected four large garbage bags full of vintage leaves and needles from around the base. (notice the large, brown bare spot) Then I painted all the chopped spots where bare wood was showing. At first, I used paint, but, since I liked the look of the natural grain, I switched to varnish. The job took a couple of days, not because we are wimps, but because it's simply too hot out there to work after mid-morning and before sun-down. Well, we could be wimps too, but hey, we did it!

 Here's what's waiting for the city truck. It's seven feet wide, twenty-five feet long and as high as my waist--all branches and wood chunks of sweet-smelling cedar. Smells better than Turtle and I did when we were through with the job.


Carina said...

I wonder how long it'll be before the kids' fort is back?

Michaele said...

I have just started the process that you are finished with and we have these tree/bushes all along one side of our property. It is a monumental project. There are so many vines and pine tree limbs that have fallen on the tops. ugh. Good for you, that you are done! Best regards,

Lilibeth said...

Thanks. I hope the job goes well for you, Michaele. It's encouraging to know that, once you get all the dead branches cleaned out from underneath, they look good for five years or so before they need another trim, and that time it isn't nearly as bad as the first.