Early Christmas Present Brings Mixed Feelings

Long term readers of my blog will know I am a keen gardener, but also a big moaner about the trials and tribulations of gardening in a backyard shaded by a large, mature eucalyptus tree.

Left – the big old eucalyptus this summer. Right – the day of the big chop.

Well, on Monday of this week Christmas came early for gardening me as the supremely professional ‘Acorn Trees’ arrived in the backyards of my neighbours and began the process of chopping down the eucalyptus.

As a kid I loved tree-climbing, but these days, no thanks.

It took the guys all day to carefully chop the tree down, pretty much branch by branch.

One half cleared, now to begin on the other side.

As the tree began to disappear the daylight to the rooms at the back of my house increased and, of course, my backyard that hasn’t seen full winter sun in decades, fairly glistened.

The skilful tree surgeon securing the next branch to be removed.

It wasn’t all good news though as I know that such a large tree was perch and roost to many birds and environmental me doesn’t like to see the loss of a single tree.

However, there’s no doubt it was very much the wrong tree in the wrong place. It was far, far too close to four or five nearby homes and with the increasing number of bad storms perhaps it was considered too risky to leave standing.

Left -from the guest bedroom the last moments of a leafy view. Right – view from my office the floor above just the trunk to go.

Finally, it has been a case of careful what you wish for. The view from my office window used to be all green and leafy, but now it is the ugly backs of some dreary interwar housing.

That’s it the tree has gone and the top half of my office window is now all sky.

But, but, but am I looking forward to spring gardening in my sunny backyard, you bet I am!

Author: agnesashe

Artisan, blogger and passionate East Anglian working from home.

15 thoughts on “Early Christmas Present Brings Mixed Feelings”

  1. My goodness. The moment your header picture popped up it felt like home. I knew you had a eucalytpus next door but I hadn’t visualised it was that large. How the heck did it get planted in that garden in the first place? Unless the plot was part of a much larger estate that got sold off into small building blocks.
    I can imagine why the owners held off removing it. My guess is that took all the money they probably saved by not being able to travel during lockdown. It looks as if the loppers left the stump – I wonder if they poisoned it? Apparently there are kinder ways of killing it off altogether (unless they are planning to get in a backhoe to haul the thing out of the ground). Otherwise it will reshoot and regrow., just as if it had bushfire damage.
    Next is to see where the roots went. I note both the neighbour’s and your back fence have been kinked out of alignment. You are probably blessed your sewerage or drainage pipes were never invaded.
    Environmentally and visually – yes, a bit sad. That particular variety has such a beautiful trunk even though the green leaves are an acquired taste. You’ll find “Eucalyptus Green” on the cool side of the colour charts πŸ™‚ Perhaps you can ‘plant’ some strategically placed nesting boxes when you do your gardening renovation – which I’m sure you will be inspired to plan over winter.

    1. I think that the eucalyptus was possibly planted in the 1980s when there was quite a fashion for using them as screening if your garden was overlooked. I expect the original gardener probably knew what they were doing and kept it pruned and under control, but at some point the house became a rental. I suspect a succession of short term lets with folk not interested in gardening even with a tiny backyard just let it grow and grow. I know the guys who live there now wanted to grow plants and it was impossible. You can’t actually see my yard in any of the photos as I am the third one away, but the tree was so large it blocked any winter sun completely. One of the main lower branches was overhanging my immediate neighbour and she was always worried that it my drop in a storm. With the prevailing southwest wind if the whole tree had fallen it would have crushed her bathroom and caught the corner of my house. It has been a worry. Not sure if they are going to have the grinder in on the stump as poisoning it would mean no planting of new plants for a while. I expect they are going to find the regrowth a battle. I’ve already planted a couple of pear trees and a plum and at the back of the yard I’ve left a mature privet (part of the old hedge??) that’s now a five metre tree. It is currently part of an informal tree corridor running along the back of the gardens and this section regularly hosts a robin, a couple of blackbirds and a family of goldfinches.

      1. Ahh, that explains why I couldn’t marry up any of the backyard views to the photos you have posted of what your garden looks like now. How lovely your hedge is hosting local birds. We had quite an amount of dense foliage near the golf course which was perfect for the fairy wrens, but they cut it back severely, and sadly, no more wrens around in recent times.

      2. I don’t how they behave in Australia, but I only every see a little wren in my backyard in the winter. Not sure whether that’s coming closer to buildings for shelter or that there’s so much greenery in the summer I can’t spot them.

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