The long declining Alaskan cedar (Cupressus nootkatensis) has been removed, cut as near the ground as possible. The remainder of the trunk and roots will remain, and these were not shallow so new plantings will not be interfered with while roots decay. Unsurprisingly, an evergreen planted twenty years ago occupies quite a large space, which is now glaringly empty.
My wife, who is thrilled by the removal that now permits an unhindered view into the rear garden, demands that nothing taller than a daffodil be planted in this area. Of course, this is foolishness, though admittedly the Alaskan cedar grew far too large for its closeness to our kitchen window. Already, I am formulating plans for this space, with a small Wheel tree (Trochodendron aralioides) purchased for spring planting, but I think it wise to allow perennials in the area to leaf in spring before doing much else. Plans to use a small variegated leaf Dove tree (Davidia involucrata ‘Lady Dahlia’, below) were abandoned because it’s barely grown an inch in two years in a pot, and it could grow too large eventually to substantiate it to my wife.
Though the loss of any plant is rarely a cause for joy, I think I’ll be happy with the change once the replacement has grown in a bit. I’m enthused by the Wheel tree, which is more of a shrub and not likely to grow nearly as large as the cedar. At least, not soon. I had no problem with the Alaskan cedar, and another beside the koi pond is perfectly sited, but this new addition will be more interesting, and the view from the kitchen will be improved.
While the chainsaw was cranked up I cut a globose blue spruce (Picea pungens ‘Globosa’) in a cluttered planting by the koi pond. It was also too shaded for too long, and once the lower needles start to drop, all hope is lost. This spruce was shaded by a threadleaf Japanese maple and a red horse chestnut, and there’s not a chance either of these was coming out, so the failure of the spruce was predetermined.
There will be no need to plant anything to replace the globe spruce. I worried that a variegated ‘Goshiki’ osmanthus (Osmanthus heterophyllus ‘Goshiki’) was growing too close, and now it will have all the space it needs, at least for a few more years.