Operation treegone

          Following on from “Garden Potential“…


          Can you see the tree at the top left of the garden?  Well, it’s in the way so I’m afraid it’s got to go. 

          We have a builder coming in less than a week and he was originally going to build a wall across the back at the end of the garden.  This will make our garden look smaller because we won’t be looking out onto the carpark of the property behind, but it will make our garden a lot more secure, and it will give me a perimeter to work with.

          As with most things I do, I’ve been exercising some “Progressive planning” – otherwise known as “making it up as I go along”.  I called the builder in to look at the wall preparation and asked if he could build my two flowerbeds too. He said no problem  but what about the tree….  

         And then I said it… 

          “I’ll take the tree out”…

          Yes, I did say it, and his reaction was pretty much the same as that of everyone else…

          “Good luck with that”.


          When I took this picture I had already used the huge breeze blocks from on top of the little wall elsewhere, and I had started to carefully dismantle the wall made of old broken paving slabs, as they feature in later plans for the garden too.

          Once I had taken away the wall, I set about the tree with a hand gardening fork, and a pair of secateurs. Yes, you heard me right, and I’m not quite as mad as I sound.  The first thing I did was to trim away some of the smaller branches with the secateurs, the ones which threatened to poke me at every opportunity I gave them.  Next I set about the front of the earth with the hand fork.  We’ve had quite a lot of rain recently so the soil came away from the roots quite easily.  As I loosened a small root I cut it off with the secateurs, and with a larger root I cut it off with a saw.

          I was making pretty good headway, but Ma Nature had other ideas and for the next couple of days all I could do was watch from the kitchen window as she rained on my mud. 


          Finally, with my back garden vaguely resembling a bog, I put on my festival wellies and set about the tree with a little more urgency.  I cut some of the thicker branches away and then I only had to cut off about four big roots to have the remaining trunk rocking about like a loose tooth but it took more digging underneath to set it loose with one last snip of the secateurs.


         Although I’m not a gardener, I do have a supply of gardening gloves which I use for pretty much anything I do outside, I take so long to heal that any little nicks or scratchers to my hands inevitably get infected before they make me look after them to get better.

          Needless to say, I had a very “hands on” approach to the remaining roots, scraping, scratching and finally pulling and cutting until I had gone as far and as deep as I needed.  The wall to the left of the garden had developed a crack over time and I was particularly pleased to see that the roots had gone no where near it, choosing instead to take the easier route towards the carpark behind us. 

          The blue and green things which were hiding behind the tree are sitting on the access path to our garden, a path which belongs to the carpark people so apart from needing to clear that area any way, I had more roots to take out from underneath them. 

          The blue tub contained rather mushy remains of what I think was a rhubarb plant and the green contraption turned out to be a compost bin, nicely composted, which Mum-in-law says to put into my flowerbeds.  After a lot more scrabbling in the mud, I finally cleared the roots from that area and just have a few more to discus with the builder when he arrives.  

          Ta-da …


          With the bits of tree all cut into small enough pieces to fit into IKEA bags for the protection of both Hubby’s car and his back, we set off to the tip to dispose of our “garden waste”.  Two trips did it, with a huge bonus on the second trip of finding a large arch mirror in the “things for sale” section for the bargain price of just £4.  It’s stored safely in the shed at the moment, (along with some little bags of small rubble and an IKEA bag of logs I’ve kept to dry out for the wood burner next year) I already have the perfect place for the mirror… Watch this space … 


          More from before : “Finishings and Fixings” and other going’s on in my “Garden“. 

12 thoughts on “Operation treegone

  1. My goodness! I admire your ambition, Sallyann — that really looks like quite a project! But how nice it will be to start with a completely blank slate with the tree and all those roots gone.

    • Ha ha, thanks Heide. It’s a mostly blank slate now, but we’ve more or less had a parking reservation at the tip over the last few months. I’m looking forward to the builder coming next week for the first of the “making”, instead of all the “breaking” which has had to be done first. 😊

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