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April 14th, 2011

“Wow, those are some big trees” Dan from Steiner Painting said when he showed up yesterday morning. “That’s what I said on the phone” Mr Chiots replied. I suppose he’s used to most people describing a 30 ft tree as a “big” tree. We’re surrounded by old growth trees, most of them well over 100 years old I’m sure. It’s too bad some of them had to come down for the safety of our little cottage.

On one hand it’s sad to see them go, but the ones we had cut down were in rough shape, not healthy trees by any stretch of the imagination. The people that built this house scraped away the soil around the trees to make a flat driveway and they haven’t been doing well the entire time we’ve lived here. We’ve been wanting to have them taken out, we’ve just been waiting to save up the money to do so.

The giant multi-stem maple growing beside our house collects water in the middle of it’s three trunks and made us nervous during every wind storm. It’ll be nice to sleep through a stormy night without wondering if we’ll wake up to the sound of a giant tree coming through the roof.

After four hours of cutting we have four fewer trees at Chiot’s Run, which is a small percentage of the big ones. We still have a nice grove of 20-25 maples in the back for tapping and a few very large cherry trees as well.

The giant 100 ft tulip still stands as they need a taller bucket truck to take it down. We also have 3 more large oak trees that might come down some day. Of course I can’t be too sad about losing a few trees, they’ll be replaced with apples, pears, peaches, nectarine, pear, crabapple and cherry trees. All that wood won’t go to waste either, we’re getting a wood burner so all of it will be used to keep the cottage here at Chiot’s Run warm and toasty during the winter.

We now have a lot of work ahead of us as all the limbs need cleaned up and chipped for mulch. The big logs will be cut up and stacked in the back for firewood. We’re hoping to use some of the smaller logs for stairs in a few different spots around the gardens. I also really want to make this bench with some of the branches, I’ve saved out a few from the maple that was right beside the house. I found this bench in the book Garden Ornaments : A Stylish Guide to Decorating Your Garden.

I love big trees, it’s one of the things we really like about our house. We’re surrounded by woods on 3 sides (well, now 2.5 sides). We still have many many acres of old growth woods behind us that will remain that way since it’s owned by the home owners association we belong to and it’s not allowed to be built on. I can’t wait to see how our little orchard comes together to fill in the spots left by these old trees.

Do you have any big trees on your property? Have you ever had to take down trees?

24 Comments to “Timberrrrrrrr”
  1. louisa @ TheReallyGoodLife on April 14, 2011 at 5:54 am

    We went through the same storm-fear/sadness/relief cycle when we moved into our house here about 18 months ago.

    There was a very big, very heavy sycamore tree too close too the house for my liking and the first weekend we were living here, a storm blow down two very heavy branches – scary stuff. I was still sad to see it coming down though – it was considerably older than me – but felt such relief afterwards – no more storm fear! And as we have woodburners, it was lovely to think “we’re clearing up this wood now but in a year’s time, it’ll be keeping us warm inside”.

    Earlier this year, we personally felled some smaller trees to make room for our fruit trees but we still have a lot of tall trees around us – some healthy, some gangly & pointless. Some of them are on our property but mostly in the public & private woodland around our home – enough to look pretty and give us our privacy, but no longer close enough to be frightening :)

    Reply to louisa @ TheReallyGoodLife's comment

  2. Mrs. Mac on April 14, 2011 at 6:12 am

    Yes .. some very tall pines .. a few of which have snapped over in the wind .. and we are on the receiving end (our home) of the prevailing wind. It does scare me at times .. so we are always evaluating and removing any damaged ones.

    Reply to Mrs. Mac's comment

  3. Beegirl on April 14, 2011 at 6:38 am

    We cleared only what we needed when we built our house and it still broke my heart. We burned that wood in the wood stove for years after and don’t have much of a gas bill in the winter. We did take two down last summer to get more sun in the garden and cleared some smaller trees so we could plant a small orchard.

    Reply to Beegirl's comment

  4. kristin @ going country on April 14, 2011 at 6:53 am

    Yes and yes. Like you, trees over a hundred years old all over the place. The only ones that have come down so far are a maple that was starting to die and was right over the driveway and the incredibly tall and menacing spruce that was literally two feet from the house. Apparently, A.’s grandfather was not so good at thinking ahead when he planted things. No one misses that thing and its mess of needles. Next I’m lobbying to take down the tulip poplar that shades part of the garden. A. hates to cut down trees, though, so it will be a tough sell.

    Are you getting an outdoor wood-burning furnace? JEALOUS. We really want one of those. Maybe when our current 30-year-old furnace dies a natural death.

    Reply to kristin @ going country's comment

    • Susy on April 14, 2011 at 7:16 am

      We’re just getting an indoor woodburner. My parents have a nice one they want to get rid of so they offered it to us. We’ll be installing the chimney this summer and hopefully we’ll stay toasty warm this coming winter. Since our house is very small and very well insulated we should do just fine with it in the basement.

      We’re actually not allowed to get those outdoor woodburning furnaces here in our neighborhood.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  5. Grace on April 14, 2011 at 8:07 am

    We had a big tree taken down last weekend. I can’t believe how much it had grown since we bought this house. The roots were tearing up our sidewalk and some big limbs had fallen into the driveway (between cars, phew!) during the last strong wind. I’ll miss its shade, though. I will miss it even more when my utilities bill rises to match the heat and humidity this summer. Shade trees really help with reducing our a/c use.

    Reply to Grace's comment

    • Susy on April 14, 2011 at 8:19 am

      Big trees are great for shade, we’re lucky that we don’t have too many hot months here in NE Ohio (and that firewood for heating should help offset the heat from the sun).

      I certainly won’t miss the constant clogging of the gutters by maple helicopters & leaves!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  6. Daedre Craig on April 14, 2011 at 8:39 am

    My house is almost 100 years old. I imagine it was one of the first houses in my neighborhood because my yard is disproportionately large and surrounded by absolutely enormous oak trees. They are obviously at least 100 years old and maybe closer to 200!

    Reply to Daedre Craig's comment

  7. Melissa on April 14, 2011 at 8:50 am

    We had 13 trees taken down last year to clear space and allow sunshine for our garden. One or two were dead and had to come down anyways. Mostly pines, but a few hardwoods. Our back yard looks completely different without them!

    Reply to Melissa's comment

  8. Mich on April 14, 2011 at 9:05 am

    We had to take down a big old Walnut that was by the farmhouse, I was so sad but the tree was dying and definately tilted toward the house…..uh oh.
    Luckily there is still another mature Walnut in the paddock and I have planted no end of trees a mix of our native oak, beech, hornbeam. more walnuts (I’m allergic to nuts so ??) maples, cherrys.
    I do love trees; they also keep us warm and toasty all winter as we use a log burner with alot of pollarded willow & ash.

    Reply to Mich's comment

  9. Lisa on April 14, 2011 at 10:07 am

    Many years ago I saw a bird bath in a magazine that was made out of a tree stump. The top surface was hollowed out, filled with concrete. Would be perfect for your space.

    Reply to Lisa's comment

  10. Kelly on April 14, 2011 at 10:28 am

    We’re surrounded by trees and some unhealthy ones needed to go down so a few years ago we hired a great local guy who, since they couldn’t get a bucket anywhere near them (we’re on the side of a small mountain), climbed them like a cat and took them down for us. It was great seeing a lumberjack in action!

    Reply to Kelly's comment

  11. Jennifer Fisk on April 14, 2011 at 10:33 am

    I had some trees removed in 2009 because they were shading my garden in early September which was just too soon. I have more I’d like to have go as well. Because I live “in the woods” I have an abundance of Pine and Spruce so I won’t miss whatever I get taken down.

    Reply to Jennifer Fisk's comment

  12. Brittany P. on April 14, 2011 at 10:46 am

    I just love big old trees! We are blessed with some very old woods across the front of our property. Most of the big trees are oaks and pines. Most of them are so big that it would take three people joining arms to encircle one. One such old tree was in our front yard, it was a big old pine. It was so twisted from being struck by lightning that sap poored from it’s wounds. My son got a kitten from the animal shelter for his tenth birthday (like 4 years ago) and it lived in that tree and had to be brought down on a ladder to eat. That cat was wild scared of her new surroundings. We decided to cut down the tree due to the fact that it was 10 feet from our house and when we did that, the kitten (Muffin) decided she might like to try the porch instead and then she came to be tame.. finally. She is still with us and we left the stump of that pine tree there in her honor..and we have a little cat statue on it…. :)

    Reply to Brittany P.'s comment

  13. Michelle @ Give a Girl a Fig on April 14, 2011 at 10:46 am

    We have a HUGE pecan tree along our back fence. It’s a MESS. It’s constantly dropping something…nuts, sap, leaves, pods…messy. And it shades the whole yard EXCEPT for the deck where we could use shade the most! A tree trimmer is coming this morning to give me a bid to have it cut way back. I’d like to have it taken down…but we were quoted close to $1000 to have it done. That’s just not in the budget right now…so a trim it is!

    Reply to Michelle @ Give a Girl a Fig's comment

  14. Wendy on April 14, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    Last year we took down a few trees ourselves to try and gain some light for our garden. Then a few weeks later, the power company came and removed three more, plus some limbs, to protect the power lines. Although it’s sad to take them down, we’ve really enjoyed recycling them for firewood and mulch. Love your stair idea, too. I’m using some of the smaller limbs as supports for things like peas and beans.

    Reply to Wendy's comment

  15. MAYBELLINE on April 14, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    Only one big tree remains. Termites and power utilities have taken all but one. It’s sickens me to take out a tree. Don’t know why; but I simply feel sick to get rid of shade. Must be because there is so little here.

    Reply to MAYBELLINE's comment

  16. Xan on April 14, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    And here I was feeling all beleaguered over my little (yes, I called it little–25 feet) apple tree coming down!

    Reply to Xan's comment

  17. Kathi on April 14, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    We live in a 115 year old house and just took down a copper beech that we believe was planted when the house was built ((as far as we could tell by historiacl society picture). The tree had been heavily trimmed by the power co. and had some dying branches. I thought I was going to cry and be devasted when it came down, but actually the front of the house looks so much better now. In its day I am sure it was a beautiful tree. I love beech trees. I remember my daughter crying when she was 3 or 4 over a “beaver tree” (a tree that was ready to fall down near a river due to beaver damage). We would visit the tree and she loved to touch the bite marks. One day the city was taking it down and she burst into tears. It’s so easy to get attached to trees!

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  18. goatpod2 on April 14, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    We’ve had to take a lot of big trees down here on our farm to make room for some more garden space and ones close to the house.


    Reply to goatpod2's comment

  19. Carlie on April 18, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    I totally just blogged about getting trees removed at our place too. So exciting and yet painful. I feel better for the trees that remain and so relieved about more light and less worry but I hate cutting a living thing down. I can see you feel the same.

    Reply to Carlie's comment

  20. One Step at a Time | Chiot's Run on April 25, 2011 at 4:46 am

    […] a driveway area that was cleared and bulldozed so he could drive in to collect wood. We had a professional tree remover come to take down a few HUGE trees that we didn’t want to deal with. We did cut down a few smaller multi-stem […]

    Reply to One Step at a Time | Chiot’s Run's comment

  21. Sunny Volunteers | Chiot's Run on July 14, 2011 at 4:47 am

    […] lot has been too shady around the bird feeder for these sunflowers to germinate and flower. Since we had those trees cut down they finally have enough sun to bloom. The funny thing is that I planted a bunch of sunflowers and […]

    Reply to Sunny Volunteers | Chiot’s Run's comment

  22. Cleaning up | Chiot's Run on November 3, 2011 at 4:47 am

    […] spring I mentioned that we had a few tress taken down and we started clearing the new lot next door. Not too long after that we started working on our […]

    Reply to Cleaning up | Chiot’s Run's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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