54 years ago I moved into my comfortable home in Neshannock Township. At the time, I knew absolutely nothing about trees and had no desire to learn anything about them.
There were five trees already growing on my property, which the previous owner had planted. All I knew was that the one in front was a dogwood, the one across the creek was an apple tree, and the other three were maples.
Since trees weren’t my thing, I didn’t know there were different varieties of maples.
As I got older, I discovered that one of the maples was a silver maple. This tree was a little taller than me when I moved in. I had no idea this was one of the worst trees on the planet to have in your garden. If I had known then what I know now, I would have shot him the day after I moved in.
Two weeks ago, my neighbor Mike reported to me that a branch of the maple tree had split. Fortunately, he landed safely on another limb, preventing him from breaking through the roof of my house and knocking down the electrical wires. That’s when I decided it was time for the tree to go.
The tree service did a great job removing the tree without causing any damage to my surroundings. I would normally say it costs an arm and a leg to pay for it, but now I would have to include other parts of my body like the neck and shoulders. If I look poor now, it’s because I am.
The tree must have disappeared, but its removal caused some minor problems.
Since it was a huge – I mean huge – maple tree, it shaded it out in about half of my garden. This of course meant that I planted shade perennials in this area. Now they are in full sun and will probably need to be moved.
The maple root system has always been a problem because it grows so close to the surface. In fact about fifteen hundred of them are above ground and cause a stir when I mow my lawn. A backhoe would be needed to remove them, but it would cost another arm and another leg, and I only have a limited number of appendages left.
I removed a few roots at a time, using a hatchet and a crowbar. If I remove two roots a day, I should be done in about 15 years.
My advice is that if you have a silver maple growing in your landscape, have it cut down or move elsewhere.
One aspect of cutting down the tree that I never thought about was the memories my daughter and her friend, Kim, had of playing around that tree. When my daughter said, “I feel like some of our youth is gone,” it brought back childhood memories of the trees I grew up with on Bluff Street.
Yes, I have fond memories of the toby tree, the monkey ball tree, the tree we pulled the beans from for our bean pullers, and the neighbor’s apple tree that I spent the most of my childhood climbing.
Trees are necessary but, planted in the wrong place, they can become a nuisance. The solar locust in front of my house that I personally planted. It will be the next to go because of the amount of waste we remove from it on a daily basis. I didn’t know at the time that the leaves that fell and landed on the sidewalk would stick to your shoes. This causes friction between the wife and me every time I enter the house. The mat resembles the floor of a forest. The electric company also has to prune the tree because I didn’t know it would get large enough to touch the wires.
My advice is before planting a tree, study all the ups and downs of the tree. This way you should be able to plant the right tree in the right place.
Obviously people, myself included, didn’t do that to me. That’s why you’ll find me selling lemonade and crayons in my front yard to help defray the cost of my mistakes.
Make your space green.