If you read my blog regularly, you may know that our mimosa tree (Albizia julibrissin) has posed challenges. It's a messy tree to start with, dropping litter in the form of flowers, leaves and seedpods almost continuously. It's bare of leaves for at least 4 months of the year and, in 2018, it didn't leaf out at all until late June. Of even greater concern, half the tree never leafed out at all.
|This was the tree in late January this year, after its last trimming. It was showing signs of damage due to shot hole borers and, in response we took out a few good-sized branches but left the tree's vase-like shape intact.|
|This was the tree in late July when it finally flowered. You'll note that while the back half of the tree looks normal, the front half was largely bare.|
I consulted an arborist in October and made the hard decision to remove three major limbs on the front side of the multi-trunked tree. I was afraid the tree would look freakish after major surgery like that but I'm not ready to cut the whole tree down quite yet. As it turned out, the tree doesn't look too bad when viewed from the front, although I can't say it looks entirely normal either.
|View of the front of the tree from the back door after surgery|
|When viewed from the side, it's much more apparent that half the tree is gone|
|This cut makes me nervous. I hope it heals over quickly.|
The other big change was made on the south side of the house, where I elected to take out one of the two tree-sized Toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia) and thin out the second. Both sat along our property line at the top of a sharp slope. We also cut down an extremely tall leader on an adjacent shrub (Auranticarpa rhombifolium). My main concern in this case was to avoid any damage on our next door neighbor's side but, happily, that didn't prove to be a problem.
The rest of the tree trimming was relatively straightforward.
|All 4 of our Arbutus 'Marina' were thinned, which helps improve air circulation and prevents the sooty mold that can sometimes afflict these trees|
Other than a laurel hedge, that's everything that was touched in this round of trimming. I've spent a couple of hours every day this week cleaning up the affected areas. The crew does a good job at picking up the debris but they never get everything. Wind also shakes down branches that were cut during trimming but didn't immediately fall to the ground. Pots and garden furniture moved out of the way has to be put back. A lot of mulch gets picked up during the tree trimmers' clean-up too so I spent time replenishing that. (Next year I'll remember to hold off on mulching until after this annual exercise.) And of course some plants below the trees, particularly those sitting atop slopes, get squashed and must be either removed, replaced or cut back to allow them a chance to recover. I'm mostly done...
It'll be a busy weekend for me as Christmas is just around the corner and we're hosting family and friends on Saturday. However you're spending the weekend, I hope it's a good one.
All material © 2012-2018 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party