Replacing a tree

lexer(Z8, OR)August 12, 2009

I'm contemplating options as to when and how to go about replacing a crucial tree in my yard and would love to have some input.

Here's a link to pictures of the existing tree and its context.

I am in Oregon, Zone 8. I have a small area of lawn right behind our house with a tree in the center (centered because I designed the beds off of the tree). The tree is a wild cherry and has what seems to be a deep rotten spot at just above where the roots meet the soil (the rotten spot is maybe 1 1/2' wide). This in combination with several other factors (the tree is a bit spindly and doesn't give as dense a shade as I would like, it has tons of little cherries that cause birds to sit in the tree -- I got pooped on 3 times in one day sitting under it, and that the cherries drop and make a mess for weeks and weeks) all lead me to want to replace it, though I am very reluctant to loose the shade and sense of enclosure created by the tree.

So, my dilemma is if I should remove and then replace the tree with a more proper shade tree (I'll ask for suggestions on that separately) or if I should plant a replacement tree at south edge of the cherry's canopy and let that tree grow for a couple of years before removing the cherry.

I keep going back and forth as to what is best. I'm also considering getting landscapers in to bid on removing and replacing it with a tree that already has a bit of size, though this option is probably out of my price range.

I would really appreciate your thoughts on this.



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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

If you plan on leaving the cherry in place for a while, you'd want to plant the new tree a little away from the canopy to allow it to get proper light, etc.

I think the biggest part of the decision will be what you want in the long run. Will the new tree be where you want it once the cherry tree is gone. Don't compromise your end result for short term convenience. However, if you think your garden layout will be satisfactory with the new tree planted wherever you would have to plant it if you kept the cherry for a while, then enjoy the cherry a little longer.

From what I see in your pictures, I'd remove the cherry now and get it out of the way. I think I would like the replacement tree pretty close to where you have the cherry now. And, it would drive me nuts seeing the decay every time I walked past it and knowing that I still had the removal ahead of me.

BTW, it looks like you have a nice garden. You should post pictures. (-:

    Bookmark   August 12, 2009 at 3:41PM
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lexer(Z8, OR)


Thanks for your suggestion to think long term -- always the best thing but hard to do sometimes.

Thanks for the compliment on my garden too -- I'll post some pictures one of these days. I'm proud of how far its come in a short time.


    Bookmark   August 12, 2009 at 9:28PM
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lexer(Z8, OR)


I'm posting before and after on perennials (where I usually lurk) but wanted to share these.

Garden progress:

Thinking over my tree dilemma - I think that I will wait two years or so and then remove and replace the tree. My husband and I will have decided by then whether we're staying in the house and expanding it or if we're moving (house too small for the long-run). I think you're right that the tree should be removed and another put in close to the same spot -- but since the benefit of that would be in the long-term I'll wait until we know if we will be here long-term.

Thanks again for your advice.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2009 at 12:23PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Looks like you have worked hard getting the place floriferous. The beds really look spectacular when they fill in. I think you have a good idea about waiting. As long as the decay doesn't progress and cause problems before you potentially sell the house, the tree's presence should increase the sellability of your house. Of course there is the possibility that you will stay and be two years behind on growing a replacement tree or that the tree will decline before it's time to sell your place. At least you are thinking the pros and cons through. Good luck with whichever way you go.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2009 at 2:06PM
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Hopefully in two years from now the prospective buyers will not dismiss purchasing your house when they see the tree you have allowed to grow with a rotten area so low in its trunk.

Another thing to consider is how happy people are to purchase a home when the trees on the property are still young, but have been planted long enough for them to be well established, and proven before those people take possession of the home.

You say the house is small, so consider that young families looking to purchase your house, might see the tree and fear for their future children's safety; while, just like you, not wanting to loose the shade by cutting it down, and to have to wait until a new tree grows enough to again produce that shade.

On the otherhand, a mature couple, who's children are already grown and moved away, might consider purchasing your home from you two years from now. In that case though, many times such people could be more informed about cherry tree's and wonder what other bad issues there are about your house or property that you negelected to take care of; that is, if they notice that you let your ailing cherry tree continue rotting through its lower trunk.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2009 at 5:23PM
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