Sunday, April 30, 2017

Moving Day (for trees, that is)

We're still here!  We've been working indoors on flooring and trim but with summer-like weather making an appearance, we moved outdoors to work on the backyard.  Two of three sides of fencing are up but we have one to go - and of course, it was the side with many trees and the ubiquitous chain link fence.  So, after removing the chain link, we had to take out the trees and - because we didn't want to chop them down - that meant putting the bobcat back to work!

"Before" picture - note the tree and large bush/tree to the right

Another before shot - this will be a long stretch of fencing someday!
We were so busy taking down the trees that we forgot to take in-process pictures but did take some once the first tree came down.  We saturated the ground around the root ball to soften it up and then Brian used the bobcat forks to dig up the tree.  It's an unconventional use of the forks but Brian has become very skilled at using them to dig and pop out trees and chainlink fence poles.  This tree (which I'm calling a tree even though it might be a bush - I have no idea what it actually is) fortunately had a relatively shallow rootball and popped right out.

Here it is, laying on the driveway, thinking about where its new home might be

It is very, very large
Just how large this thing is became apparent when we tried to get it onto the bobcat to transport it to the back of the yard.  It is tall, heavy, and unwieldy.  We finally, after a couple of tries, managed to lift it from its side up onto the bobcat forks.  Once it was on the forks, we strapped it to the bobcat so it wouldn't fall over, and the bobcat carried it to the back of the yard.

Ready to take a ride.  I'm still not sure how Brian managed to see around it to drive
but the tree, bobcat, and Brian all arrived safely
Scoping out the new spot for the tree
Another shot pre-tree planting - you can see why we'd like a little more screening

And now with tree in place!  Much more private

Another angle
The poor tree took a bit of a beating with the bobcat forks (which are not an approved tree-moving method!) so we'll keep an eye on it and hope that it survives.  So far, with plenty of water, it seems okay so fingers crossed.

Then it was on to the next big tree.  This one also came out pretty easily and then when it was lying on its side, we realized just how big and heavy it was...

Getting it out of the ground turned out to be the easy part

We didn't want to drive the bobcat across the finished patio so had to come up with a different method to move it.  We settled on a rather unconventional approach involving a furniture dolly, some plywood, and a lot of lifting.  

Tree taking a ride on the furniture dolly to its new home in the corner of the yard
Getting this tree upright and into place was no easy feat and Brian may have come a bit close to being pinned a couple of times as I struggled to help hold up the tree as we wrestled it into place.  Fortunately, Brian's friend Tim showed up in the middle of this process.  Having an extra - and strong - person around made a huge difference and we were able to get it planted and in place.

Tree relocated into corner
The last part of landscaping was to plant three trees that I picked up on clearance at our local nursery - two Zelkova Serrata trees and one 'Homestead' Buckeye.  You can imagine the conversation when I told Brian I wanted to buy three (large) trees that would now need to be picked up, transported home, and planted.  But they were on sale and I couldn't resist.  Fortunately, Tim stuck around and helped dig the giant holes that we needed for the zelkovas - these are not small trees - and then move them into place.

Zelkovas waiting to be planted

And they're in!

It's a bit hard to see but the new buckeye is in back, between two river birches (which are also a bit difficult to see here as they haven't leafed up fully yet) - but the overall effect is that the fence line is quite wooded at this point
And the last thing to do was clean up the side yard to prep it for the fence.  In the next few weeks (or perhaps longer!) we'll start getting the fence up and in place.  But with two trees moved and three new trees planted, we've had a good weekend!

Looks a lot different now - and definitely ready for a fence!