Before and After: Buh-bye to the Pine Tree
One last Fall makeover before the rains begin!
We once had a pine tree. A Scots pine or Scotch Pine that David planted B.T. (before Tamara). He did not realize at the time how big it would grow. I have read online different heights but basically too big for us at between 50 to 150 feet. We put off doing anything about it as it seemed to be just poking along. Well, it had a sudden growth spurt this year and, well, it had to go despite the fact that it's evergreen and kind of cool.
Here's Mr. Scot's Pine spring 2012, he was about 30 feet tall at this point.
Here's the Before shot with David doing a Vanna White. At one point we considered offering it to anyone who would dig it out. Haha, well, that did not happen. I don't know about other people stomping around my garden---know what I mean?
Here it is again on the right, this was taken this summer. Apologies for the bad photo.
This was also taken spring of 2012. The whole area is so different now, the two Ceanothus are now quite large and have filled in the area nicely.
So one fine September day, David and I said farewell to our friend. It felt so odd and wrong to do it, but we feared that it would take over if we had not.
The bulk of the tree was cut down, de-limbed, if you will, and loaded up in the pickup. Just ol' "Stumpy" remained (for a few days..imagine my horror!). As an OCD gardener, I had to get the stump out. Had to had to had to had to had to had to had to.
So on my next day off I dug.
And dug. And dug. Finally, some three hours later, the root ball and its connecting roots which went every which direction FINALLY gave way.
Look at that long root! Any misgivings I had about removing ol' Stumpy were long gone after our epic wrestling match as the whole neighborhood looked on in disbelief. I just kept smiling and waving, completely covered in mud and sticks.
I did it! Victory! (the crowd cheered..huzzah!) By myself!
Poor Stumpy. We kept this part (I don't really know why, but we did).
Now, what to plant in its place? I had something waiting in the wings for a good month, actually. A tea tree plant or Leptospermum lanigerum 'Silver Form' from Xera Plants.
Here he is! Along with a few new neighbors - two Solidago "Little Lemon" purchased at Dancing Oaks earlier this summer, a couple of Arctostaphylos, a Hebe glaucophylla, some native Sedum oreganum, some Oregon Sunshine or Eriophyllum lanatum - that's the silverish ground cover on the right side - another Oregon native plant. I also moved around a couple of yellow yuccas NOID that were actually here when I moved in but nearly dead, I did some divisions and came up with three in this area. I hope they take, two look great but one will have some recovering to do.
Oh, and also a Chamaecyparis 'Barry's Silver', also from Xera Plants. He's the little buddy on the right, will get to about 4' tall. Here's what Xera Plants says:
Wow. A beautiful Conifer with scales tipped in white fading to sea green and blue as they age. Slow growing and compact to 5' tall in as many years and 4' wide. Full sun with protection from blasting afternoon sun. WELL DRAINED soil that is not too rich. Light summer water. Excellent year round interest for a border or landscape. Soft mein lends it to good combinations with Japanese Maples and other light textured plants. Oregon Native Plant
Now that's the right size conifer for us!
And here's the Wooly Tea Tree again - From Xera Plants:
COLD HARDY FORM of the silver leaved 'Wooly Tea Tree' native to the mountains of Tasmania. Fast growing to 6' and 3' wide; one of the best silver leaved evergreens for our climate. Sparkling 1" white flowers in early summer and sporadically through the year. Full sun, well drained soil. Aromatic foliage when crushed. May be pruned quite hard to shape. Occasional summer water. Informal shape works in borders. LOVELY garden plant.
I love him! The contrast in foliage will be a welcome addition to this NE corner of Chickadee Gardens.
Looking forward to seeing it all fill in.
Lots of new silver foliage to contrast with the dark Laurel (right), Rhodie(center) and Arbutus unedo (center and far left) leaves and brighten up this corner.
Here's an After shot, again the sun and shadows make it difficult to photograph, but I think the makeover really opens it up. Overall, I think a good change. The tea tree will only get about 7' tall and is quite airy - also, it can take some serious pruning, if necessary. See the Ceanothus on the right - how much they have filled in? NICE.
That's it for Fall plantings and projects for now. There are other "before and afters" in the works, but this is officially the last big change of the year. Now that the compost has been laid out (done last weekend - and got it from a great place, Dean Innovations which has organic compost for those of you in the area), the last thing to do is put everybody to bed and to daydream a little about next year's garden.
What have you been changing in your garden? Post it in comments below with links, too! Happy Autumn, Everybody!