Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Ugly Tree

Ok, where are my GREEN THUMB gardeners?? I NEED YOU!!! We have this horrible tree in our front yard, I don't even call it a Pine Tree - it is affectionately (or not) known as The Ugly Tree!!! So, this is a picture of the front of our house & the left side of the stairs. This tree is atrocious and NOTHING will grow there because of all the pine needles. Sooooooooooooooo, I need your advice!! What can we do with this??? It costs too much $$ to chop it down and rip out the stump, so that isn't an option this year, and I REALLY like the shade it gives us and the privacy. It blocks the mid-day sun from the deck. Should I case it in, and put decorative rocks in there? Is there ANYTHING that will grow under a pine tree??

My goal this Spring and Summer is to make the front of our house have more "curb appeal". I worked really hard on the right side of the yard, and it isn't so bad now. There are 2 trees on the right side, a Kelsey Crab Apple tree and a Nan King Cherry bush. I made a flower bed behind the trees and planted a shrub of some sort that gets pretty little flowers (LOL), some Lily of the Valley, some plants my neighbour lady gave me (can't remember what they are called but they survived the winter, so you can't go wrong with that!!!) and some ground cover stuff that gets pretty little yellow flowers (Golden stone or something?!?!) We'll see if that grows!!! LOL

BUT, my issue is this Ugly Tree and the area underneath it!!! Any hints? ideas? words of advice???


Lorraine A said...

Hi Chris, :-( As far as I know nothing will grow underneath it because it drops a kind of resin that acts as a weedkiller, this is so the tree gets all the nutrients ! Clever tree this !! :-)
I would be worried about the roots being so close to your house, they tend to be as long as the tree is tall and can wreak havoc with your foundations so ,,,, I don't have any positive advice really :-( if you chopped the lower branches and put a swing up, or a table ! but that would get sticky with the resin too :-(( nope no good ideas sorry !!!
Lorraine x x x

Kristine B. said...

OH MY!!! I say Cut It Down!! I was going to say it's way too close the house and it's roots will crack right through your house foundation and you'll REALLY have problems, but it looks like the house is up on (stilts, for lack of a better word) and that tanish wood at the bottom covers the empty space under house, correct? In that case the roots shouldn't affect it too much, but I still say it's waaay too close to the house and I'd cut it down, put some trunk killer there, and I would put some of those grey cinder blocks in a circle around it, like maybe 3 high (or since those are kinda spendy right now, use wood and make a square around it) and fill with dirt and plant some nice flowers there!

We have a nasty-looking Juniper tree in front of ours, but it's a good 50 feet out in the driveway.

ms.cheryl said...

If cutting it down is TOTALLY out of the question due to $$$ then start pruning the lower branches off. You can do that yourself. Get drastic!! Prune all thw way to the eave of the house.That in itself will open up that left side of the house and you will see 100% improvement. Then put some edging of your choice around the tree in an irregular shape (no circles or squares) and work the dirt loose around the tree roots. Add some good soil and plant azealias or other acid loving shrubs. It's not the resin that prevents plants from growing there it's the acidity of the pine needles. Some plants love acid. Ask a local plant nursery. They will give you a few choices. Always ask your local nursery, native plants are different in different areas. Native plants grow the best with the least effort on your part.
Then sit on the front porch and have a little lemonade! ms.cheryl

Cathleen said...

This is what I would do, I would trim away the lower branches and tuck a cute little bench in the opening, then I would also add some mulch!

Stef H (Glitterbabe) said...

I do not have a green thumb. I kill silk. However, the ground keepers in my complex have recently cut down the branches on the bottom to give the pines a "trunk" and help see around corners where cars come from. Also, did you know that if chop off the top of the tree, you can keep it at that height! Sure you may have to chop it down again, but in a few years. We have a dwarf blue spruce in our front yard and I don't want it any higher. You can always maybe get someone to "give it a shape". Hope this helps. Truly, don't fret over it. It's nature.


Scrubbysue said...

Hi chris! my name is sue and I look forward to working on the Squigglefly DT with you!! I see what you mean about the tree! GRRRR! I hate that!!! lol

Donelda said...

I Hate pine trees on my lawn. AT our rental house there were about 15 great big ones .... all ugly trees!!! I hated it because, like you are experiencing, nothing would grow including the grass. (so, honestly, I'd cut the darn thing down myself...just get Tim to climb it and cut it down in small sections then just drill a hole in it and use bleach and water to kill the root - takes about 7 years but it will decompose!!). Anyway, if not, then think aobut what grows under pine trees in nature...ferns, probably could make a rock garden under there. Find tons of big rocks, add dirt in around them and then try getting some moss and ferns to put in betweeen them. Maybe????!!!

On another note, I found you something -- you are going to love it!! I will put it in the mail today!! I had to leave this message here because I've lost all my emails...can you send me your email again?! Thanks said...

Hi Chris! Is Tim any good with an ax? I think the tree is too close to your house. Do you have a basement? The roots can hurt your foundation and cause problems more expensive than it would be to cut it down. I'm sorry girl!

If it were further from the house, I would suggest a little rock garden underneath it. My pine trees are so tiny there isn't room for anything underneath yet ...there really isn't much "under" neath the little guys.

Much luv, and good luck!

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