Helen's Garden Renovation Project

Friday 12 September 2008

Feeding the shredder

Filed under: Conifers,Magnolia,Progress — Helen @ 5:04 pm

This morning I chopped off all the branches of the four Leylandii trees that I am replacing, apart from the ones right at the very top which I couldn’t reach.

The four Leylandii trees after I had removed almost all their branches

The four Leylandii trees after I had removed almost all their branches

It was quite an easy job removing them. Most of them were thin enough to come off with my telescopic loppers, and I sawed through the rest using a hand saw. I didn’t use my Alligator Loppers because I want to practise a bit more before disobeying the instructions not to use them while standing on a ladder. The thing to do is to look up while you are cutting off the branch several feet above your head, and then look down, so the branch falls on the back of your head and neck rather than on your face. In fact, because the hedge is so thick and tangled, falling branches did not gather a lot of speed and therefore it wasn’t painful having them land on me. As Leylandii branches bring me out in a rash on contact it was a good thing not to have them touching my face.

When renewing a hedge on a boundary, it is a good idea to notify your neighbours first. If they like the hedge, they will be disappointed when they see it go, and if they don’t like it, they will be disappointed when the new one starts growing. Although it is a supposedly well-known fact that everyone hates Leylandii, my neighbours like the hedge for the same reason that I do – it gives them privacy. So I have warned them about what I am doing and therefore I hope they did not get too much of a shock seeing bits of my garden for the first time (the hedge was there when they moved in). I think I did quite well to drop only one branch into their garden – I retrieved it with a rake, so that my shredder will not be deprived.

I now need to decide whether I am going to remove the poles myself or get a tree surgeon to do the job. Although they look quite thin in the photograph, they are at least the size of an upper arm, and it can be quite hard work sawing through something of this size when it is vertical. It will also be a fair amount of work digging the stumps out, but I think I can manage this as long as I take my time about it. While I think about this, the next job is to shred all the remains. Stripping the trees took me about one and a half hours. I expect the shredding to take at least that.

The magnolia’s leaves are going brown. I hope this is because it thinks it is autumn, and not because it thinks it’s fed up with being in a pot. I did give it some plant food granules last week.


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