Tuesday, January 18, 2011

New Beginnings

My neighbor put it best when she saw the job after it was done.... "New Beginnings" I loved how she said it, and therefore it is the title of the posting.  This is the second write on a major project happening on the 922 building which will lead to the creation of the citrus garden. It took us 5 hours to clear all the brush from the planters and the feeling afterwards? Cleansing. Sometimes when I look at an area full of vegetation, I am overwhelmed at how to tackle the problem.  I can easily recognize a problem and with time, I do come up with some solutions.  But I have to be careful about fixing it "right away" and giving myself some time to evaluate the appropriate measures needed to get the work done. And the money that will be required for such a project....
With an electric chainsaw at 45 dollars rental, we began to clear out the planters being careful not to hit cars with tree limbs or blocking access to residents.  There were 2 of us that did the work.  One cut  while the other directed the limbs to the ground. Afterwards, the trees would be cut up into sections for the fireplace. More of that on tomorrow's post.
There are no longer any threats to the building, and there are now just stumps and debris.  When doing this type of project, it's important to locate telephone wire and any electrical line in the soil before cutting to make sure you don't damage any of the connections.  It can be very costly!  We, thankfully, did not have that happen to us, but it did happen to me another time and I'll never forget that experience.
If you are a nerd like I am, I sat and counted the tree rings to see how old these bushes were.  I counted 24 rings total which means that these plants were put into their planters several years after the building was constructed.  The project now is to lower the dirt level BELOW the foundation and remove the stumps which can be difficult.  I am having someone come in to give me an estimate at how much it will cost to remove these stumps.  If it's too expensive, we've taken measures of putting a powder into the heart of the stump that will break down the wood for easier removal later.  Drill a hole into the center of the stump and poor the mixture into it adding a little water.....this will break down the wood bond and roots around the area.  Even though you've removed the bush/branch portion, the roots of this ficus are still active and more sprouts will shoot up. Ficus, once established, is difficult to remove.

Secret agaves and aloe vera were growing amongst the ficus bushes.  If you look down the planters, you'll see one bush remains.  That's a dwarf citrus bush that was put into that space to give residents a sample of what will happen with these planters once they are finished. It's important for people to see what it is you are trying to accomplish because they don't or can't envision the final product.  Give them a sample first so that they have an idea about what you're doing.  Another resident came out during this time of change and was happy about the sensor lights working again.  I am as well.  I fixed all the lights and electrical outlets so that they now work 24/7.  Nothing is blocking them and with several adjustments, we now have a safer property.  You can see the amount of stumps left behind and the cost associated with these stumps?  That's my next write, "The Day After".  I now have a clean palate to work my magic and I cannot wait to begin this new and exciting adventure.     
I have lot's of really useful information coming up this week so stay tuned for more on the Citrus Garden Project. One other note that I think is important to share.....from my studies, landscaping is said to have a life of 20 some odd years meaning that you should switch out old bushes, etc and freshen up the landscape with new plants.  I tend to agree with this as older bushes(not really trees) need help. It's not the plant, but more the soil around the roots that either is nutrient deprived or too compact. Yesterday was a good example of this.  And for that reason, it's good to freshen up the landscape.....end of deep thought:)


  1. I know how difficult it is to remove trees which have been established such a long time ago, ficus should never have been planted near the foundation of a house. anyway you got rid of them or nearly.
    We usually drilled a hole into the stump and injected Roundup. In a certain time the root and stump would integrate into the soil.
    are you planing to espalier the citrus trees along the wall. It is always elementary to think about thoroughly when implementing new planting schemes.

  2. You're making progress!
    I don't know about the stump rot powder stuff but I have heard that after you do that, cover the stump with soil and mulch and keep it wet so it rots faster. We had a small stump in our back yard which we did that to and it did seem to rot faster so we could break it out. Good luck.

  3. It has been a busy past week.....I am also working on another project that I have yet to show. I do it in pieces with a goal in mind everyday after I get done with work. The citrus will be a dwarf variety that will stay about about 12 feet and in bush form.


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