31. May 2012 · 1 comment · Categories: Backyard

It’s been forever but I’m back! We’ve been busy bees working around the house so I have lots of stuff to post but haven’t had a break from the doing to talk about it!


Crysta from Fern Gully is after me. Well… at least I think so. If you don’t know what Fern Gully is… then somehow you missed one of the early 90’s greatest eco-propaganda movies for kids.  It was fantastic.

We took down a few trees from the yard at the beginning of May, and by a few I mean five HUMONGOUS trees.  Even though I don’t at all regret the decision, I still can’t help but feel guilty about it. I blame Fern Gully.

When we moved in, our front yard had two maple trees and an oak tree. Our house faces south so the trees in the front yard are great for blocking out the sun and heat. Unfortunately they were so overgrown that although we have a ton of windows, our house was really dark during the day.

In the back we had two large maple trees (along with a handful of smaller ones that had sprouted up over the years and been allowed to grow), an oak, a cedar, and a crepe myrtle.  Although our lot is .20 acres, it felt like one of the smaller lots we had looked at during the buying process because the trees were so large in proportion to the yard.

When we moved in, I thought I just wanted to remove the maple tree closest to the house in back (about 15 feet away) because I was concerned about the massive root structure and that it would damage the basement walls eventually if allowed to keep growing.  Then we found out from our neighbors that when they removed the maple tree from the back corner of their property a few weeks before we moved in, its roots had already reached their house.  That convinced me that we should take out the second maple. The oak in the back was hollow so we knew it would have to be taken out eventually though it could probably have stayed a few more years.   The cedar was growing right up against the fence and didn’t make much sense where it was planted.

The first week we were in the house we received an estimate from the tree service that had done our neighbors yard.  Their proposal included removing the four trees from the back and pruning the front three trees.  It was higher than we anticipated but didn’t seem completely unreasonable.

The second company, Absolute Tree Service, pointed out that the oak tree in front was not only hollow but infested and considered a hazard.  They suggested we take that tree down because they thought it was likely to fall in a storm.   Luckily even including taking down an extra tree, the second service was able to save us a few thousand dollars off the first estimate.  They did a great job and we definitely understand why they were rated so high on Angie’s List.  I would highly recommend them for anyone in Fairfax County needing some tree work done.

Now that the trees are gone our yard looks huge! I can’t even believe how much room we have now that we don’t have to work around the trees.

Of course even when you’re paying someone else to help out, one project always leads to another. The roots from the backyard have been redistributed since they were bug free (unlike the infested tree in front), and we saved a piece of stump to eventually use in the house as soon as I settle on a location.   I’ll admit the yard looks pretty rough in these pictures but we’ve been working hard every weekend since to clean things up  and I’ll have posts up detailing those projects soon. Soon-ish? Ok, eventually!

How do you decide which projects to contract out and which to do yourself?

Does anyone else have guilt over removing plants and trees from their yard or am I just crazy!?

1 Comment

  1. it look good !!! and i agree that crista is gonna get you and her little buddies lol attack of the fairy’s it was one of my fav’s

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