Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Bye-Bye to the Annoying Oak Tree

See that?  That's almost the end of the annoying oak tree, which has been increasingly encroaching on my garden with its shade for about five years, and which I finally have been able to have taken down. Yeah!

Now, I feel a little guilty trumpeting this triumph in a sustainability blog.  Aren't I supposed to be lobbying for more trees in the world? Trees pump out oxygen, help clean the air, and fight soil erosion. What's not to love?

What's not to love is the amount of shade in my garden. Look, I'm all in favor of more trees: in place of parking lots and shopping centers. You want to tear down a Walmart or a Chipotle and put in a bunch of oak trees, I will help you wield the shovel. Just yesterday, I saw yet another mini-lifestyle center being put up in our economically-tenuous area. The store on the corner outlot was so close to the road that it almost created a blind turn for drivers. We just really don't need that much retail around here. So, sure, more trees.

But not more trees in my tomatoes! I've spent the past five years with that little oak tree making a growth spurt that made it taller and wider, crowding the sunny part of my garden further and further out of the back yard. I've had enough.

With the tree gone, my sunny gardening area is nearly tripled, which I'm sure Mr. FC&G won't appreciate when it comes time to till the garden up, but which I will certainly enjoy. And, as a bonus, the west-facing windows on the house aren't nearly as shaded. That means our sunroom can go back to one of its intended purposes as a solar collector to help heat the house, and we don't have to feel like our bedroom is in perpetual gloom.

I've never really been one for dappled sunlight; give me some nice, direct sun that will tan my skin all summer and allow me to grow those veggies that need 12 or 14 hours of sunlight in order to produce. I have plenty of trees remaining on the property; the original owners really went berserk planting trees around here, so one fewer shouldn't really harm my eco-cred. And, as Mr. FC&G always points out, anything that increases my gardening decreases my chances for insanity, so it's kind of a win/win.
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