July 3, 2012

RIP City Tree

It's probably evident by now that Richmond and Virginia as a whole have been going through some pretty crazy hot weather and combined severe storms. Tim and I have been lucky so far in the new house in that we haven't had any extensive damage or power outages lasting more than 8 hours, but we did chronicle the wind storm that split the tree in front of our home right down the middle in this post.

You might recall it looked like this. And some of Tim's handiwork with the signage here:

All humor aside, Tim called the city asap to let them know the tree was in a hazardous state and asked if they would come assess it — we couldn't technically do anything about it ourselves since it's city property. The neighbors even banded together and tried to strap the tree together to avoid it falling on any cars while we waited for the city to come over the past week.

Well, they came alright:

Two big trucks pulled up outside the house in the middle of the afternoon and out hopped a crew of men ready to take down the tree.

They carefully removed all the branches one by one with a long pruning power saw — then a large claw on the truck would catch each branch as it fell to dump in the back of the truck.

Power pruning saw and huge truck claw in action shot:

At one point while most of the initial pruning was going on, about 3 of the crew men sat on our front stairs. I was pretty happy about this, thinking, if they are sitting up near the house there is no way they will let those branches fall on top of it!

And then our little tree was whisked away:

The whole process took maybe 15 minutes from start to finish, if that. I'm sure we were just one of many stops throughout their day given the extent of damage around Richmond.

Here's what we have now — a stump:

It was kind of a bittersweet moment in that we were happy the tree wasn't a danger any-longer, but sad at the same time that it had to be removed. The city had a pretty smooth removal and waste operation going on, so I'm hopeful the remains will be put to good use.

I'm not sure why I thought they would uproot the entire thing instead of sawing it down all wham bam thank you ma'am and leaving the stump. We had been hoping to re-plant something in it's place but have been left scratching our heads a little at the newly empty plot in front of the house. If we'd known ahead of time they'd leave the stump we'd have asked them to leave the trunk about 4 feet tall and topped it with a bird feeder, haha.

We're now considering calling the city back to see if they have plans to uproot the stump and re-plant a tree or if it's something we could re-plant on our own (wishful thinking, we're sure), but it's worth a shot.

Maybe we can just chalk it up to the quickest DIY home project (that we didn't actually DIY) with the biggest impact so far??

Before (December 2011, with tree out front):

After (July 2012, without tree out front):


Side note: I love how Basil is staring right at us from both of these photos. As I was coming back in from taking this latest shot, our neighbor Alice asked me what I was doing and I said something like "oh just taking a shot of how open the house looks now that the tree is gone." She gave me one of those looks like I was a crazy person and said "oooohhhhh..." — it was priceless.

We'd love to hear any ideas you might have for our stump out front, experiences you've had with city tree removals or re-planting in a tight space.


  1. I had a palm tree removed from out front for danger reasons also, (its was actually in the front yard but right near the pavement) and the stump left is about 30cm across (about 14 inches) . It opened up the front of the house beautifully,(its a 110 yr old place). I thought about what to do there for ages. I planted 4 native waratahs and also planted 30 cm high flowers around the whole area. Want to try and create a blanket effect. Dont think i can attach a photo here wish there was a way to! :) If i were you i would stick some poison into the rootball of that tree, then a few weeks later when it has completely died, dig it all out. There is probably not alot of good soil there where the tree was, so compost it up, fertilise, water etc, then a week or so later maybe plant a medium height shrub with heaps of flowering colour! thats what i'd do anyway

    1. Kathy we would love to see what you have done and you can always reach us at 17apart.gmail.com Thanks for stopping by!

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    1. CurlyT comments like that keep this blog going. Thanks for your continued support!

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