Uprooting The Aspen

by Josh on April 26, 2006 · 0 comments

in Gardens,Projects

Another day, another landscaping post. Other than a bit of picking up for some houseguests this weekend, we’ve been putting all of our energy into the gardens and yard.

aspen groveYesterday I dug three young aspen trees out of our backyard to give to a friend who lost a mature oak in his yard in a storm last March. The photo shows what the aspen grove looked like last summer. We love these trees–especially their twinkly leaves–but they are planted too close to the house, retaining wall and stairs. If the trees stayed under 20 feet tall that might be fine, but Aspen eventually grow to 50 feet or more.

We have also been told that aspen roots are particularly damaging to house foundations. We decided the best thing to do was give away the aspen before they get big or do damage, and replant the grove with small ornamentals.

While I helped move the trees to their new home a few blocks away, Ms. Bungalow put another four plants out front to fill in a few remaining spaces in the hillside. This brings the total new plants out front to an even two dozen, and the landscape is much better for it.

Tonight, we drove out to Gerten’s (a giant suburban garden center) to look at ornamental trees to replace the aspen. We wanted to see more options than what we would get at nurseries in the city. After wandering through rows and rows of trees, we decided on three “Red Barron” crabapple trees. They grow up to 15 feet tall and have a narrow, vertical branch pattern that should keep them nicely compact.

Once installed, the biggest visual change from the aspen will be the crabapples’ dark red leaves in place of the aspens’ bright green foliage. The new trees will be delivered on Thursday, and I will put them in the ground that night or on Friday morning.

All this landscaping work snuck up on us a bit. One thing led to another as we bought plant after plant, and we have surely spent more money than we intended when we first went to the garden center. This must be the DIY version of “spring fever” where instead of slacking off at work or pursuing a new romance we are gripped by an overpowering urge to get some dirt under our nails.

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