November 7, 2013

Less Trees But More Breeze

One of our palms slowly died over the summer.  I tried to call a couple of landscape companies to come take the tree out but they were too busy.  Finally in late October I came across an ad in one of those little newsprint mailers for Ron C's Trees.  Ron was quick to answer my phone message and even faster at doing the job.  I'm going to recommend him on Angie's List if he's listed there.

Bright and early this morning I drank coffee and watched palm fronds rain down on the deck.
In addition to the tree we were having removed there are 12 palms on our property that needed to be cleaned up. Cleaning up means taking off the dead and mostly dead fronds and their barky roots, and also taking off the horrendous flower/seed stalks.  People don't realize until they live under them, that palm trees are very messy, dropping yellow pollen and bucketfuls of round green or brown seeds somewhere between the size of a pea and a marble.  

One of Ron's four assistants high in the treetop, shaving off branches with a chainsaw faster than I could dust my blinds.
There was one more thing Ron C's Trees were doing:  debooting two palm trees in the front yard.  Debooting means shaving off the rough, pointy, barky things that cling to the trunk of a palm tree after the frond dies and drops off.  It's the base of the frond.  You can make cute little Florida reindeer Christmas decorations from the bark bits. (I have one from many years ago when the kids were little, and it's still one of my favorite things about Christmas.)  Anyway, debooting keeps the tree free from those pesky ants and roaches that like to colonize the crevices and then parade around your walkways, decks and pool areas.  The pros are quite obvious but the con is that our woodpeckers will have to dine elsewhere, and I will miss seeing and hearing them right outside my window.

Our former jungle, in the process of getting tamed.

These two palms in our front yard are so close they look like a double-trunk tree.  On the left is the debooted palm.  It looks very red and raw but rest assured that not only will it weather to a more normal looking gray, the trunk itself is not exposed and the tree will grow bigger and better now.

This photo from shows the palm bark reindeer I mentioned above.  Go to their website to see how to make these!
Half the job is the job but the other half is the cleanup.  Ron brought a huge dump truck and a bobcat.  The crew carried the debris to the front of the property where it was loaded into the truck and they hauled it all off.  What a relief!  When I walked around outside I couldn't tell they'd been here, except of course for the light and clean feel of my yard and gardens.  

The palms kind of look like chickens who've been plucked but I'm told that within two months they'll fill out up top.
One of our front beds sans that yucky dead Washingtonian.  The guys said it had been struck by lightning!  Apparently that happened before we moved in because this past summer was notable in its lack of electrical storms here on beachside.
The debooted trees and my shell windchimes hanging from a little ornamental tree* right outside our home office.  Now these runty shrubs will get enough light to grow before I have them replaced, muwahahaha...

Cleaning up some of the back yard debris before taking out the Washingtonian palm.

When it was all over I felt very guilty as I walked our property.  It is definitely exactly what we, meticulous low-maintenance gardeners, wanted but at this very moment it feels like we're the buzz cut in a neighborhood of long hair.  And I'm a long hair person.  So yeah, I feel kind of naked.  

*I don't know what it is.  My gardener and friend, Robyn, says its Chinese.  I really need a good Florida Garden Bible in this house.

1 comment:

  1. It's pretty already around your house, and it will be just lovely when you get through will all the garden improvements your are making. I looked up whether we can grow palm trees in Dalas. The answer is yes, but only if you go to lengths to make sure aht you are planting a cold-hardy variety. Most common varieties will not make it through the winters here. What i miss in Dallas the most are the lilacs.