Tuesday, June 5, 2012

There are going to be some changes in my shady garden

Our units are going to be painted, and in preparation for the work, excess vegetation needs to be cut back.  Our rather large lychee tree is going to have to be pruned back.  The leaves clog the gutters, and in a cyclone the branches might snap and cause some damage to fences or break windows.
I love that tree -
I love all the birds that hide in its branches and call out with their different songs.
 I love the cool shade that it provides to the garden - on a hot day you can feel the temperature drop the minute you walk into the back.
 I love all the free leaves I get for my compost bin and I imagine those will be drastically reduced.   My hubby, often the one to mulch all those leaves is not so sad about it :)
I love the lychees that we get to eat.
I don't love the bats that came very night when the top half of the tree was filled with lychees nobody could reach to pick them.
I don't love the fact that he said some of my precious plants might be damaged. This huge birds nest fern has been living happily in the fork of the tree for years - will it survive?

During the heavy rain one of my lipstick plants fell down from a tree branch - It is now perched on a small table - I will take down all my hanging plants and move the loose pots.
 the lipstick plant is just flushing out with buds and flowers - it will be parked well away from all the action.

Pruning a fruit tree is good for it, and it should grow back healthy and strong, but I do feel a little nervous about it all.   It is a bit late in the season to be pruning and so we probably won't get any fruit this year.

Has anyone else had a tree trimmed while precious plants reside underneath it?  I imagine some of the plants might not like a sudden change to the amount of light they receive.  I thought I might prune some things back, but then thought it might be better to wait until the damage is done. I think I might order in some more mulch so there is a good thick layer to protect them.  What would you suggest?

20 comments:

  1. Oh That is already a very big tree. Most of us do not anticipate the mature canopy of trees when we plant a seedling, so later we encounter things like this. That is my experience too, and we pruned lots of trees or sometimes cut the whole of it when needed. We also have a lanzones tree very near the wall which already cracks the floor of the terrace, but we always delay it year by year! I think you should remove the shade loving plants before they get exposed or they will burn. I am sure you have other areas for them to be to get the shade they need.

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    1. We only moved here two years ago and it was already a big tree, but I think has enjoyed the extra goodies I add to the plants below it! I don't have any other shade so will have to treat them where they are.

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  2. That is a glorious tree and it will definitely make a difference having it cut back. I don't think I could stay home while it was being done.

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  3. How sad the tree has to be cut, it will grow back for sure. I had never seen a lipstick plant before, you sure have some amazing plants that wouldn't thrive in the Perth heat.

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    1. Sami,
      I think the Perth climate is similar to South Africa where you can grow the proteas and banskias - every area has its specialties. Every now and then my hubby buys me an arrangement with proteas in it and I keep it for a while, but then when they get dry and dusty I toss them out.

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  4. It would break my heart to stay home and watch this beautiful tree get cut back, but my son is an Arborist and he has assured me that your tree will benefit from the pruning, assuming that it will not be butchered.....

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    1. Maureen,
      They do prune lychees here quite severely and they grow back - thanks for asking your son.

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  5. Gillian, you've got a handsome tree and I can almost hear the birds singing to their hearts content to cheer you. We have a very huge tree across the road and truly enjoy the music the various birds chorus, especially in the mornings. Lovely captures of your tree with the pretty Red Ginger Lily in the foreground!

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    1. Jacqueline,
      Yes I hope the birds don't go away - every morning there is quite a din from them all waking up!

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  6. Second picture is absolutely breath taking! That tree that overshadows them all, with such a fine round base at the top. I love your garden!

    -Oscar Valencia
    Tree Service Queens

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  7. You should move all you can away from the tree and give these plants the same amount of shade as they are used to. You are a bit fortunate that it is winter and the sun is not as harsh..you might have a couple of months to figure things out. Here in Houston, I lost the top of my giant pecan tree during a hurricane and most of another shade tree as well. The sun coming through helped most of the plants in dense shade, but some of my potted plants got sun scorch the following summer. That's a beautiful tree...see if the crew will trim as little as possible for the job. David/:0)

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    1. David,
      I will move the pots away, but just keep up watering and mulch and hope for the best with the plants in the ground. I think it needs quite a severe pruning.

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  8. Probably lucky it's being done in Winter. There should be less shock but I'd be moving as many of the shade lovers as I could. Also, I hope the tree loppers are careful not to drop branches on your beautiful plants.

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    1. I imagine some branches will drop and that is what worries me. It is amazing what damage a little branch will do.

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  9. That is sad. Your lychee is a glorious tree, with so much going on. I'm sure it will recover quickly, though. Hope you can save that beautiful bird's nest fern! We only have one ginormous tree here at PITV...an oak. There is a tree-sized branch hanging over a spot where I have planted my most treasured tropicals. I know they would be devastated if that branch ever fell and took away the shade (and frost protection). I try not to think about it, especially with hurricane season just begun.

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    1. Oh I love those old Florida Oaks. the branches go on forever! I saw one once at the Cummer museum that went into the ground and out again!

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  10. Oh, I wonder how much you need to prune and hope that it won't affect your lychee tree!
    It must be lovely to see and hear gird sing♡♡♡
    Love you always, xoxo Miyako*

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    1. Orchid,
      I think pruning will keep it healthier. I do love the birds singing - only on the weekends though - they are all still sleeping when I leave for work during the week!

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