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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2109
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2012 5:53 am
Location: Lafayette, LA

Biting the bullet

We have a 150+ year old Southern Live Oak in the back yard. 5 years ago the entire back half of the tree split off and fell. Cost 3K to have it removed and the remaining portion of the tree properly pruned and the soil aerated and fertilized. The remaining portion of the tree is on the house side. Branches are threatening the patio cover. There are other branches in the power lines. Branches on top of G's shop are ripping off shingles. We spent the weekend properly pruning branches that were on top of the patio cover. It is prime hurricane season and a bad storm would cause the branches to tear up the patio cover.

G hunts and fishes so he has lots of toys. We used his 4 wheeler with winch to tie off the branches being cut so they did not fall on the patio cover. Bless his big ole heart - he was so proud of himself for figuring out how to do the deal. He got lots of hugs and encouragement from me. I put my 2 cents in a couple of times and he actually LISTENED!.

The work we did this weekend is only a bandage. That old tree has to be removed. If we take out all of the branches - some of them HUGE - that are threatening the power lines and shop roof there would not be much left to the tree.

So bite the bullet. The tree has to be removed. I WILL cry. :cry:

Before any of you chime in with "Don't do it!" please understand that this is a very difficult decision. The tree is the reason we bought the house in 1987. Unfortunately a Southern Live Oak does not belong 45' away from a house and 25' away from G's shop.

There are lots of Live Oaks in the subdivision but ours is the only Southern Live Oak. The other Live Oaks grow vertically. Southerns spread wider than they do tall.

-wall- I wish I lived in the country where I could have my huge Southern Live Oaks and not have them threaten our property.

So bottom line is we have to take the tree out. We consulted an arborist who specializes in Southern Live Oak Preservation. His sad conclusion was that the tree has to go. A really bad hurricane will crater both the house and G's shop.

Probably not until late winter, early spring.

I have a plan. I will build a berm and plant a Drake Elm which, in my region, grows like a weed and will quickly provide shade. I will plant Knock Outs, perennials and herbs on the berm.

Just doing the pruning that we did this weekend is enough to make me :cry:

SIGH! I am bummed out. Very hard decision to make.
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

Green Thumb
Posts: 532
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2014 6:56 pm
Location: Southwest Louisiana

Re: Biting the bullet

Oh, I hate that! I hate having to cut a tree that old-you'll never get to see one that big in your yard again! It always makes me mad when I see a developer clearing a lot full of nice, beautiful, oaks then stick a for sale sign on a vacant lot-grrr! I do not know a lot about a drake elm, but I have a tree in my side yard that is supposed to be a elm (but I am not sure), and it makes lots of surface roots. Hard on the lawnmower!
zone 9 Southwest La.

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Greener Thumb
Posts: 870
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2012 6:13 am
Location: Columbia, MD

Re: Biting the bullet

What a bummer! I definitely understand though. I live in an older neighborhood for our area with lots of huge established trees. We've only been in the house for 2 years and I've seen a handful of substantial trees fall in big storms just in the time we've lived here. We had a crazy storm blow through about a month ago that had substantial branches and a few large trees down, several of which left houses in need of roof and gutter repair. Days before we moved into our house we had a big storm and the neighbors on either side of us lost huge trees, one of which took out their entire covered patio. We were very fortunate we were spared!

It's so sad that you'll be losing the tree, but unfortunately it sounds necessary :(
USDA Zone 7a, Sunset Zone 32
"The earth laughs in flowers" -Ralph Waldo Emerson

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