Chopping out a cypress

The back third of the garden remains impassable, not literally, but good judgment dictates that more harm than good is done by forging ahead and destroying lawn that is fully saturated. Yesterday, following a few days without rain, I ventured close to try again, but backed away when I saw deer tracks that had sunk a good four inches into the slop. And so, with fewer areas to bother with the immediate spring clean up is moving along quickly, at least by my very liberal interpretation of what can be deemed clean up.

Perhaps this invites trouble, but with a bit of time to spare I’ve delved into a few new projects, and even ones that were sudden inspirations and not on the agenda. With an hour longer daylight on a mild afternoon, it occurred that a gold threadbranch cypress had grown larger than planned, and while damage to a neighboring Japanese maple and holly was minimal, the time to chop it back or remove it was now rather than a year from now.

One of two threadbranch cypresses has been removed. This one was up to about fifteen feet tall, and the other is over twenty feet, both much taller than references state for their mature size. The taller one has sufficient room that it will stay.

The good chainsaw was misbehaving, so the battery powered backup went at it, more slowly than its gas powered cousin, but in a short while the tall trunks were cut near enough to the ground before the battery died. The fifteen foot, upright growing trunks of the cypress were disentangled from each other, and from the maple, then tossed in a pile. What to do with the pile will be decided later, either to haul the branches off or run them through the chipper. A few of the trunks were so tall and straight that I momentarily considered stripping side branches to construct a rustic arbor of some sort, but I quickly reasoned that this is too ambitious and certainly there will be plenty to keep me occupied without adding this kind of foolishness.

I’ve been very concerned with a red flowered paperbush (Edgeworthia chysantha ‘Akebono’) that was planted at this time last year in the very swampy rear of the garden, and though it is slightly elevated, I’ve feared that it would fail to survive in this constant dampness. Flower buds have been lost, though probably due to sub zero temperatures rather than excessive moisture. With newly opened space to fill, this seemed an opportunity, but, how to get there through the bog?

There are five yellow flowered paperbushes in the garden, and now one with red tipped blooms. Though flower buds are damaged on Akebono, buds seem intact on yellow flowered paperbushes, though they are tardy in flowering.

So, I took the long way around, through briars and brambles in the forest that borders the garden, bypassing the worst of the saturated lawn, where the small paperbush was easily dug out, then transplanted right beside where stumps of the cypress remain a foot above ground. Once the cypress is completely removed, the paperbush should be ideally located in the light shade of the Japanese maple, and though the space is a bit small if this one quickly grows fifteen feet across like the five other yellow flowered paperbushes in the garden, it’s the best that can be done without carving out new planting areas, which is out of the question according to the other member of this household.

The immediate result of the removal of the cypress was my wife applauding as she watched from the kitchen window. Apparently, this had been troubling her for some time, though either I hadn’t heard her complaint, or perhaps I wasn’t listening closely enough (again). She is a less is more type, and of course, I am not, so her plan is to keep the area open while mine is to jam it as full as possible, as quickly as possible. The paperbush is just the start.

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. tonytomeo says:

    Dang! That is a big specimen. Those do not do so well here, so rarely get so large. I would not feel right about cutting one down, although I know it is not quite such an important item there.

    1. Dave says:

      I am reluctant to remove any plant, but it had grown large enough that it would soon conflict with a neighboring Japanese maple. One or the other had to go eventually.

      1. tonytomeo says:

        Well, I get that too, but wow. such a nice chamaecyparis!

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