Trials and tales of a not-so-advanced gardener--both in the dirt and beyond.

Monday, September 29, 2008

All in a weekends work: Tree trimming and brush clearing

When I bought my house this spring, I really did fall in love with the yard. It was just the right size for my first yard, there was an area already there for vegetables, and lots of flower beds, too. I also liked that the yard had several mature trees--my house was built in the 60's as one of the Indianapolis 'burbs (now it's a part of the city, for sure). I also appreciated the fully fenced back yard with some trees growing around the fence line which provided some privacy.

Here's what I saw once I took off the new homeowner, rose-colored glasses:
Mulberry trees, overgrown bushes and shrubs, mulberry trees, brush piles, rotting wood piles, over flowing flower beds, mulberry trees, and a raised vegetable bed that was sure to be falling a part within a few years. Oh, and did I mention mulberry trees?? So that is what led to my fall project list.

I know the list is long, but I felt like these things really need to happen now instead of later (I'm now re-thinking the list...considering I'm not yet done with even one of these things and it's practically October).

My parents came to town to help out this past weekend to assist with cutting down trees, trimming up shrubs, and chipping it all.

I immediately took my post at the chipper rented from Sunbelt Rentals. A word about Sunbelt and my experience with this chipper: On-line it says that this is a 4" chipper. This means it should chip up anything with a 4" or smaller diameter limbs, sticks, etc. I called to ask a few questions about the chipper and was told it is actually 3" and was immediately "up-sold" to the 6" chipper (amounting in about $125 more). I declined. When the guys went to pick up the chipper they said it would only handle 1.5" diameter---excuse me? But you said 3" on the phone!
The chipper worked fine...for about 5 hours off and on...then white smoke bellowed from the belt and no more chipping occurred. Mind you this is Saturday at about 4:40. They close at 5. We called and they wouldn't take back the chipper that day (had to wait until Monday morning) and they wouldn't let us come get another one.

Nevertheless, the work was not finished.

My dad, aka Rambo, is seen here sharpening his tools. He is preparing to tackle the back edge of my lawn, where these woody shrubs have grown out from the property line about six feet.

He and mom are just getting started on the area.

And this is what it looked like when they were done! I've gained about 5 extra feet of yard!

Now I can see my neighbors and the transformers back here. This is unacceptable. I'm going to check out ornamental grasses that will grow tall in part shade.

With the chipper dead, Tod and I decided to just start piling it up by the maple tree in the back. On the left you can see the pile of wood chips we were able to create. On the right you can see the new brush pile. That new brush pile is about 7 feet tall and 12 feet long. Now I either have to rent a chipper again or see if there is a tree service who will come out and chip it up and leave the chips for me.

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