We had them trimmed back quite a bit that first summer. The biggest branch taken down had over 60 rings. We knew they wouldn't last forever and I've planted a sassafras and two redbuds nearby for less than majestic replacements.
With more overhanging branches dying, we had estimates made to see about another trim. Even the best quote to do both was more than we had, so we opted to have the worst one done, along with a dead branch from the other one, a large dead branch which overhung where we park the cars.
I'm definitely going to miss the shade.
|A topped tree is a sad looking tree.|
Honestly? I think topped trees look stupid. I never could understand why some folks regularly do it to all the trees in their yard. However, we just weren't ready to cut them down completely.
On the bright side, we now have firewood for next year. Why next year? While the dead parts can be used this year, it was cut back to live wood, so quite a bit of it is still green. This will need to cure for awhile.
While tidying up and sorting it, we discussed this year's firewood pile...
|A rather raggedy looking woodpile, I'd say|
Neither one of us is too keen on a plastic cover. It looks sloppy and is a nuisance to deal with, especially when trying to get wood while it's pouring down rain. Still, if firewood isn't protected, it will decay from rain and ground moisture. What we need is a proper wood shed.
That, however, was something we couldn't decide on until I saw this at The Weekend Homesteader...
|Photo courtesy of The Weekend Homesteader, click for bigger|
I loved this idea because it could accomplish two things for us: a tidy, accessible place to store our firewood, plus something I've wanted very badly, a privacy fence.
To put a fence along here will only take 7, 8-foot panels (buy 5 get 1 free to boot). I'm very pleased about this because it will not only define our yard, but will block a straight shot view from the street. I have seen passersby crane their necks to see what's going on, and I will be so happy to not feel on display all the time.
|Next year's firewood from this year's tree trimming|
Plus it will be great to have proper firewood storage. [UPDATE: Photos of the finished fence here.]
Next year we plan to do the second old oak to match. We figure if we take them down a little at a time, we can spare them as long as possible without them damaging anything, and without letting them die wastefully. As sad as it is to lose them, if we can accomplish that, I'll be satisfied.