A tree falls in Oregon

Sort of a crazy summer between the record heat, record drought, the pandemic, some travel, and two (soon to be three) large projects around home. Here is one of those big projects that happened back in mid-July.

See the Douglas-fir in the middle that is leaning over to the right? That is actually leaning over our woodshed and our house. We had a fire safety inspection earlier in the year and one of the state foresters recommended that we remove it because it is within 25 feet of the house.

That meant I needed to cut down our golden chain tree (Laburnum species) so that the arborist would be able to access the Douglas-fir. It’s okay though, because I was planning on cutting down the golden chain tree anyway and allowing it to resprout. It was getting old and slowly dying. This is the perfect opportunity to rejuvenate it. Unfortunately, I only have a bow saw and a reciprocating saw. Not enough to cut the rest of the golden chain tree stump down. The Douglas-fir that will be cut is directly to the right of the golden chain tree stump.

Here is the aftermath after the Douglas-fir was cut down.

See that long horizontal strip of brown clay and sawdust? That is a mulched area that was a full garden a few weeks earlier. The green spots are the poor plants that I left behind that were either too big or too established to move without killing them. I dug out what I could and trimmed down the rest to reduce their footprint. I had hoped that, by some miracle, the arborists would miss hitting them with falling chunks of wood or stepping on them.

This groundcover manzanita made it…

…as did this groundcover Ceanothus. Both of these were formerly about 2 to 3 feet in diameter. Now they are less than a foot. But, they are alive and they will regrow. Surprisingly, almost every single plant left underneath the staging area is still there and alive.

Now we have a lot of firewood to split and a pile of mulch. The plan is to replant this area with xeric plants. This area gets a lot of hot afternoon sun. The clay is already baked dry. Next up, what does this area look like more than a month later?

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