Bye Bye Birchies

We found out last month that the two birch trees in our back yard were infested with the bronze birch borer, so we had to decide what to do about them. They came down today, and it's surprising how much that changes our yard.

The birches were my favorite trees on the whole property. They held visual interest all year, covered in leaves or snow.

The photo on the left was from this morning, and it shows that the right tree had quite a bit of dieback, and while the left tree didn't have as much, it was probably a year behind the other tree. The tree shows results of the borer larvae from the previous year, and while we may have been able to nurse the back tree along, it would have required annual pruning, treatment, and heavy watering. We may have even been able to work with the front tree, but the arborist confirmed that it would have eventually died.

Another reason to have the trees removed now is it gives whatever replacement we choose more time to grow, and we would have that much more time to enjoy it. For now, though, there is quite a bit more light in that corner of the yard.

Before work began on the trees, we moved a few black huckleberry shrubs into pots so they wouldn't get ruined while branches got dragged across the yard and large trunk sections got felled.

The guys working on the tree were pretty methodical and there was minimal collateral damage. The branches that reached over to the neighbors' yard were held up with rope so they could be swung over to our side of the fence before being let down to the ground. We kept the trunk sections to use as decoration around the yard. I also kept a nice-looking section of bark.

The other thing we had the crew work on was the other neighbors' Douglas fir, to clear branches which were resting on our utility lines. The guy had good confidence unknowing how small of a branch he could stand on.