The problem is that I don’t really embrace “naturalized” areas other than where the ostrich ferns have taken over. I just can’t stand looking at mass quantities of weeds. But in some areas I do, if only because I just don’t have the time to take on another massive de-weeding project.
And then something changes and sort of forces my hand.
And last week “something” came in the form of the electric line tree cutters.
To be fair, I knew this was coming. I just wasn’t prepared for what it would look like. People who live in the city, especially in newer areas where power lines are buried, probably aren’t familiar with the crews who come to trim trees around power lines every few years. Seeing these guys, as nice as they are, in your neighborhood is not a good thing. They are hired by the local utility to do the bare minimum required to clear overhead power lines. They aren’t arborists. In fact, I believe their contract with the utility forbids them from doing anything beyond the minimum.
Fortunately they seem to have started taking a kinder, gentler approach, probably because of all the irate homeowners stalking them. About a month ago we got a note on the front door telling us that several of our trees needed trimming. I was able to set up an appointment to have them come out and discuss exactly what would be done. The original notice called for trimming an oak and I was able to point out to them that the branches of this enormous tree are so far away from their power lines, even a hurricane wouldn’t be a problem. And I was also able to request that instead of topping the two evergreens (spruces, I think) that flank the entrance to our driveway, they just remove them. In fact the trees had already been topped about five years ago and they were already wider than they were tall, but they had continued to grow and the tree trimmers were planning to just lop off another 8 feet.
I was actually happy to see them go as the trees has been ruined with that first pruning several years ago and I didn’t want to have to worry about having it done.
Anyway, all of this is a long way to say that those two trees are gone, as well as several branches on other trees, but there’s nothing to be done about that. And with those two spruces gone, the end of the driveway is looking rather shabby.
This is the view from our driveway looking at the road (it’s a small, one-way private gravel road maintained by all the homeowners on the road). The driveway is in need of some new gravel I think, but in general, it’s pretty rustic. Off to the right is where the jewelweed is busy propagating with reckless abandon.
Here’s a close-up. It’s bad news.