To Tree or Not to Tree- That is The Question

I have been eyeing up the large trees at the back of our property. I have been wanting to get rid of the tall, yellow, columnar conifer for a while. We got rid of its ailing sibling close to the garage a while back as it was small enough for The Husband to cut down. This one is much taller though, so we need a professional to fell it. It doesn’t look right standing right beside the neighbour’s fence in a raised garden bed, and even less so since ivy has started to take it over.

I’ve never liked this tall, slim, yellow conifer, or where it’s planted, but now it’s just an ivy-laden mess. Don’t look at the lawn, that’s a mess too. The washing line is going to come down and I have actually started chopping up that pruning mountain… I’m also dismantling the second chicken pen so I can clean things up in the raised garden and set up a better pen.

In addition to felling the slim conifer, I was thinking about getting an arborist to prune some of the branches of the very large tree nearby. It is a cedar tree, Cedrus deodara or Himalayan Cedar I think. Why it was planted so close to the garage on a raised level I don’t know. Apparently they can get to over 20m high and up to 12m wide. I like this tree. I have a deep attraction to needle-leaved conifers and this is a pleasant-looking specimen. I also like the way it drops scented needles all over the ground underneath it. And it produces pine cones which can be burnt in the fire. A couple of the branches are overhanging the garage and it is those that I thought to get pruned. But there are also branches overhanging the chicken run and neighbour’s place that ought to be pruned too. The tree has very wide, slightly drooping branches. And then there is the ivy.

The Husband is going to be stuck with the job of getting rid of the ivy from the massive cedar tree. The ivy is smothering it too and sending forth little seedlings everywhere. I’m going to start having ivy nightmares soon. I wouldn’t have let it get so bad if it didn’t give me an allergic skin rash. I seem to be ok pulling out small bits of ivy with gloves on, wearing long sleeves and pants and trying not to touch the leaves, but I have to be careful as repeated exposure to it on my skin could make the reaction worse. And thus, I dare not clamber around in ivy or deal with it up high where it could swing around wildly and attack me. I am scared of it, and I’m not ashamed to admit it! I would actually like to climb the tree to rip the ivy down, I think it could be quite cathartic, but alas, I will have to convince The Husband that this is a fun activity he can try.

The cedar tree is very large.

Or, the alternative, which just occurred to me yesterday as I gazed out the window. We could get the tree felled. One ivy-laden branch came down earlier this year and it made a big crash. Maybe we should just remove the potential danger. I have been weighing up the pros and cons. Let’s make a pro-con list!


  • Removes danger of tree or branches falling on garage, fences, chickens, neighbour’s place, etc.
  • Won’t have to pay for regular pruning to keep branches under control.
  • Won’t have to convince The Husband to do horrible, procrastinatory job of ivy removal from all over tree.
  • Gives us big stash of firewood.
  • Big trunk could be cut into rounds to make stepping stones.
  • Could plant a smaller conifer tree (or a couple) to replace it.


  • View wouldn’t be very nice with pretty tree gone.
  • No more scented, needle mulch on the ground near tree.
  • May make garden more exposed.
  • Could be very expensive.

I’m just going to stop right there as I think I have my answer. Most of the cons can be addressed by planting a new, smaller conifer tree or two. I was already planning to plant a couple of small ones on the ground in front of the big cedar for more of a forest-ey look, so I am well underway with the research anyway. The only problem is the cost. I know arborist jobs are expensive but I have no idea how much it would cost to remove both these trees. And maybe a few of the jolly stumps around here. Well, there’s only one thing for it: get a quote. There is a company that has been recommended by people in the area so I will start with them. To tree or not to tree? It’s a tricky question.

The cedar tree is pretty, but then, it doesn’t really fit into the general eye level very well. A tree of this size really needs some open space. And not to be planted on a raised bed. Things are slowly getting more tidy. Except for the lawn. Look –  even the giant bag is gone from the carport!

2 thoughts on “To Tree or Not to Tree- That is The Question

  1. Wow, that is a big tree! Removing it will make quite an impact, especially in terms of sunlight. We got some absolutely massive branches removed here (though not whole trees) and I was pleasantly surprised that the price wasn’t too bad – fingers crossed prices will be reasonable in your area too. As for the ivy, don’t blame you for wanting to avoid it, especially if you react to it. Horrible stuff, Ivy. The other problem is that once you remove it, whatever it was clinging to tends to look a bit mangled. Good luck with the final decision 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s good. I would like a pleasant surprise. I haven’t gotten around to getting a quote yet, but when I do I think I’ll get a quote for both removing the tree and just removing some branches. The tree may be able to swing me back to the keeping side considering that the ivy has been dealt a blow that is starting to kill it and that I have been doing a lot of pruning in that space to the extent that it might be a bit too naked if the tree came out. But we shall see…

      Liked by 1 person

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s