Saturday, November 12, 2011

Project: Backyard Tree

As I wanted to plant a tree in the back yard to replace the Arizona Ash that died a few years ago, I decided it would be smart to call DigTess (1-800-Dig-Tess) to find out what underground utilities were in the back yard before going and digging a large hole. While most of the other projects I'm doing are less than 16" deep, a tree planting hole, is not.

DigTess came out and marked up the yard for me, but all it really did was tell me that the two other spots I wanted to plant the tree were unavailable because of the utilities (damn AT&T cable line!)

So I let it stew for a few days while I went through the blah-ness. Even as of Saturday morning (11/5) I didn't feel like working on the yard in any capacity. That is, until I went to my in-laws house and saw all the progress they've made in their back yard. Then it was like a bug - I had to get home to start working on "the projects." So I spent the better part of the evening digging a hole for an as-of-yet-not-even-determined-much-less-bought tree. After I hit a couple of big roots from the previous tree (I was already over a foot deep, and about 3' wide, so I thought I made a pretty good dent), I gave up and moved to digging out a hole/ditch area at the end of the dry river for a rain-garden type thing (the water is creating another pooling area just outside of the dry river, so I decided I might as well deepen the hole and plant stuff there). Note: The husband is not happy about this turn of events - mostly because he thinks it's going to look weird to have a flower bed in the middle of the yard, essentially.

Then, on Sunday (11/6), I think the planting bug got into my husband because he became all hell bent on getting a tree (after I told him, 'no really! it really is time to plant trees right now!'). So we went off to Red Barn and found a small cedar elm for $35. I was really hoping for a bigtooth maple, but they only had silver, brandywine, and some other variety that was not bigtooth.

And so, now we have a new tree!


RBell said...

Ooo..thinking you'll really like the Cedar Elm. I really like that species - nice overall shape, small sandpaper leaves, great fall color. I think its an excellent choice for that spot in your yard. said...

Very frustrating to have to deal with all of the lines running through our yards. But, it will be so rewarding. We have one of those big neighborhood transformer things in the corner of our yard on a concrete pad that has been sinking for years; we keep calling out the utility company to level it and the last person they sent, who was clueless, only kept saying, "Wow, this thing can explode because of this tilt."

Yah..that sure will make you want to garden in the backyard! haha.


Cat said...

Cedar Elms are really nice trees. We had one at our first house and we still drive by occasionally to check up on's lofty and graceful.

Lancashire rose said...

Great job on tree selection. I always wanted to have a cedar elm but it would be impossible inside our garden areas. They do have lovely bark and leaves. Those darn utility lines. I dread them coming out to work around here because they just plough through any plants. Even in our own garden we keep coming across pipes in annoying places. However, the alternative doesn't bear thinking about, does it?

katina said...

I'm glad to hear that everyone else likes cedar elm - my neighbor across the street had a red oak that died (it wasn't a healthy tree to begin with). After reading about oak wilt (admittedly something that most of us northerners don't think about), he decided he wanted something other than oak. I recommended a cedar elm and he told me he was a certified elm hater since he grew up in the north. Made me really worried (but maybe dutch elm disease is more common in Minnesota?)

Tina said...

You'll love the Cedar Elm. It's wonderfully funky and gnarly as a young tree, but grows up to be a lovely adult tree. Lovely fall color.

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