Saturday, June 6, 2015

Summer Project #1 with a Little How-to on Shrub Removal

What would summer be without some back-breaking garden projects?  I don't know the answer to that question although I would like to know it.  Below is a pic of the forty-plus-year-old shrubs in front of my house. This pic makes them look much better than they did close up and in person.  They needed trimming because of the walkway which would have left them with little green except on the tops.

In order to get from there to here:
 and, eventually, to here:
I needed to get those ugly shrubs out. You can easily find articles online for planting things, but far less on removing things.  To help new homeowners out, here are some things about shrub and small tree removal that I wish I had know thirty-five years and two houses ago. 
  • Roots get thinner the farther out you go. 
    •  Start a foot and a half or at least a foot away from the trunk.
    • Your shovel will break most of the roots if you do this, although you may still need to use garden clippers for some of  the thicker roots.
  • Just when you think you are going to be able to just lift that sucker out, it may well appear to be as firmly attached to the ground as when you started.  What???? 
    • Your tree or shrub will have some sinker roots (those that grow straight down) near the center in addition to the lateral or side roots.  Sinker roots are a royal pain because they are hard to get at with the shovel due to their angle (or lack of it??).
    • Sinker roots are also thicker and usually can't be broken with a good push on the shovel anyway, but don't give up!
    • Sometimes you can use the shovel to get to them and clip them with those trusty clippers. Lucky you.  Other times you have to root (pun intended) around with your hands to clear a path for the clippers. It's a dirty job but well worth it.
  • Get as much of the dirt off the root ball as you can by shaking it and/or jabbing with the shovel or trowel. It can make the difference between carrying a really heavy mess or a really light mess. You also won't need as much topsoil to fill in the hole(s).  An added bonus is that you can take out all your frustrations for having bought a house with crappy landscaping at this time.  
  • DO NOT get a manicure before starting a project like this one! 
  • DO get a manicure and a pedicure and a hot stone massage upon completion of the project.  You freakin' deserve it.

1 comment:

  1. I thought I saw some blue air coming our way from south of us - I guess I know why now! I hope you got your mani-pedi and massage after you were done - I would have told hubby to do it while I made him his favourite supper - it usually works, lol!