The tree

We have a tree in the back left of our place, the tree has a short trunk, but branches that expand nearly the full 15m of the block.

A week or so ago, we were wondering where the chook pen was going, and our garden beds have so much growth that we now need to relocate all the vines over to the back fence to allow room for the growth to actually complete.

The tree, was the first thing I looked at and ended up with the conclusion, it must be cut back and eventually go. A few branches came off, there’s signs on the tree where others have also taken off branches, much thicker then the few we’ve seen come off.

I wanted it gone, it would free up so much more of the backyard, and make natural light to the new fruit trees better, and allow for expansion.

But then, the tree has just as much a right to exist, as will our fruit trees, so the issue was to decide why get rid of it, and if we could even consider getting rid of it.

It turns out our council has policies in place to protect pretty much all trees bar a few pests (we don’t know if ours is in the ‘pest’ category), And anything above 3m gains that level of immunity.

The tree is probably already in our sewerage pipe looking at it – but even that’s actually not good enough, they would want to see an expert report stating it’s in danger of destroying the sewer main, and if so – is encasement of the mains an option.

i.e. We’ve got more hope of getting the entire sewer system moved then we do of that tree simply going.

They do stipulate on the application form too, that you may be required to plant natives if they do approve an application to remove a tree.

I decided against removing it, the costs would blow out, and not only that, the chooks would benefit from shade.

So another good look out there this afternoon revealed an alternative solution – we keep that tree pruned back and try and control it’s leafy growth some more (short of treating it with Round Up – which would probably do nothing to it anyway), Our fruit varieties are the dwarfing varieties, so we need only them to grow 1.5-2m tall, and if we keep the growth at the bottom below 2m from the top tree, the sun is still plenty as the north and west gets right in under it, where the trees will be, providing shade to the chook pen.

That then frees the back fence, but there’s a shady issue generated by the raised garden beds, that would mean the vines, whilst grow, not as well – so Reject Shop have containers – $12, they are about 400mm high – exactly what we made the raised garden beds at.

5 or 10 of those, the trellis screwed down, some pest management for the snails and the like that seem to eat the leaves, and we should be all set for that entire space.

The tree lives on, the birds can play in the tree, our fruit trees grow, the chooks get shade – all seems too good.

Well, it is if you don’t like leaves dropping on your plants (think cross contamination). The fruit trees should be more tolerant though, and we are out there daily anyway, so it’s not a massive management issue.

Saves the tree, right? I’m not convinced it should stay, but until we can find a solid reason for it to go, it should probably stay where it is. Council charges $110 for an application to remove it, and what I’ve been reading, it’ll probably fail (no solid reason for it to go).

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