TOH: Curb Appeal

Every plant and animal in Ithaca has a bad case of spring fever, and Chelsea and I are no exception.  As part of our final push to get the house in condition to put it on the market (don’t worry, plenty more to do still) we thought we would make the most of a sunny and 50 degree weekend and get in some yardwork.  Saturday afternoon was spent breaking newly purchased leaf rakes (another topic maybe) and raking the entire yard.  We want to plant more grass seed, and it has to go in now before the canopy overhead blocks all the sun.

Sunday however, was spent doing much more manly tasks, such as cutting down tree branches.  Being biologists at heart, it is difficult for us to cut some of these trees, as some of them are magnificent.  We settled on the compromise of cutting some of the very low hanging branches, and the ones that obstruct the view from the road.  Our thought was that we would open up the driveway and front of the house a little more and make it more appealing to people driving up.  After all – first impressions make a big difference.  Again thanks to our friend Ryan, we had a chainsaw at our disposal and made quick work of the branches in question.

Above you can see some of the branches that came down, as well as the workhorse chainsaw.  We also had another ladder that I used to get to the higher points.

Here is a view from the top couple rungs of that ladder.  I like this picture because you get a good idea how high I had to go while operating that chainsaw (don’t worry we were very safe) and if you look close enough you can count about 8 of the fallen victims.

Again, as a biologist I couldn’t help but notice that the wounds on the tree where we had just made the cuts, became really wet and in all cases were just pouring out water.  I knew that trees had plenty of water running through them, but didn’t realize it would come out quite like this.

This final picture is just to illustrate the amount of water coming out of the trees.  Sometimes people cover the freshly exposed surface with tar or something similar, but I think we’ll just let the trees heal themselves.  They have been a live for a really long time, I’m sure they will manage.

All said and done we cut down at least 20 good sized branches in under 2 hours.  I have to say it does make a difference in the way the driveway and yard look.  Now we just need to find the energy to cut and move them all.  Maybe another nice spring weekend.

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