A Necessary Evil

I’m not gonna lie: one of the huge draws of building where we did (other than having built-in babysitters our family across the street) was the phenomenal, established acre of land our house would eventually become a part of. And by established I simply mean the large number of mature trees that dotted the plot that we hoped to utilize for:

  • Abundant Shade
  • Maximum Privacy
  • Tree Forts.

Sadly, it’s been mostly fool’s gold.

Last year after we had already purchased the property, three of our huge trees lining Army Post mysteriously dropped all their leaves mid-summer…leaving them bare and desolate. I invited a landscaping expert to visit and give us the low-down, and his report was devastating:  those three trees in particular happened to be Elm Trees, and each had succumbed to Dutch Elm Disease simultaneously through their interconnected root system. Such a fate was irreversible…they were goners.

That wasn’t all.

Our awesome willow tree was at the end of its life, which explained the reason it kept dropping large branches seemingly on a weekly basis. Not to mention willow roots can be extremely detrimental to a septic system.

And for the kicker, our Locust tree was consumed by a gnarly Poison Ivy vine…the biggest one we’ve ever seen…giving it a creepy mangled appearance.

All of this on top of us already taking out a magnificent old maple during the construction process.

We didn’t want to do it. We love these trees, dead or not…but the reality is that they would soon become a hazard and liability to us and the girls if we didn’t take care of them. So after saying our goodbyes (Missy almost cried, unable to get comparisons between our willow and the Giving Tree out of her head), we finally bit the bullet and called in the lumberjacks {they’re still called that…right?}, who managed to make quick work out of our doomed vegetation.

Sad face.

Plus I was mildly disappointed they didn’t show up in red flannel shirts, jeans, and suspenders…

Thankfully, the story doesn’t have a completely terrible ending…

Our friendly neighborhood golf course is willing to take as much of the felled lumber off our hands as we’re willing to give, especially the large trunks that they will utilize to heat their clubhouse in the winter. They are also lending us their wood chipper so that we can take all the smaller branches and foliage to make organic mulch out of them for our yard and {future} garden!

Not to mention that we’ll be saving a lot of the smaller stuff for ourselves to use for bonfires throughout the summer/fall 😉

We’re also doing our best to preserve the remaining trees on our acreage. Like even though our blue spruces have seen better days, we’re giving them a few more years hoping they recover from the trauma of our fire/construction process. And as for that poison ivy vine…

…we took care of that too, and the Locust appears to be recovering fine (or at least would be if it wasn’t so stinkin’ dry).

And don’t worry…once the stumps are out of the ground, we intend to replant every tree we lost so that our family can enjoy them for many years to come.

At which point I will be posting pictures of a much happier scene.

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About Tom Hardinge

Loving husband to my wife Missy, loving father to my four daughters Sienna, Rowan, Jovie, and Lola. I'm a chronic over-packer who loves good coffee, good music, running, waffle tee's, fleece pants, and Jesus Christ!

8 thoughts on “A Necessary Evil

  1. Ok…is that poison ivy vine a poison ivy like we have in MD or is it some mutant the grows in Iowa that turns into a bark as it ages?? I can’t get over it!

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