I’m not entirely sure how it happened but somehow our legitimate need to have the sprinkler system reworked has become so much more. And oddly enough – I wasn’t the one pushing this project. Our lawn guy…aka my husband…was tired of dealing with a subpar sprinkler system. So naturally we started looking at options to have our system redone so it would water properly.
Which would require us digging up our lawn and trenching new pipe. And then the innocent thought bubbles up…if we’re digging up the lawn and running new pipe, are we entirely happy with how our landscape is currently laid out? When that answer was a resounding “no”, we started working to create a new landscape plan we would be happy with (which included Steve’s request of ripping out 5 of our orange trees, we have too many oranges and he’s tired of the maintenance.)
With a plan in place we looked at our current lawn and knew we just needed to start over. We decided to have some pavers installed by a guy in the neighborhood and we were in charge of the demolition and prepping the area. Steve and I figured we could take a couple weeks and start the process. Ripping out brick edging, removing plants and bushes, removing at least two of the trees (we could remove the other three a little later) and removing rock. We figured we’d leave the sidewalk demolition to them.
Bright and early Saturday morning we went outside with the kids and started the process.
Steve removed the brick edging and the kids picked them up and moved them to the driveway area. We started tackling one of the trees before Steve went to help someone move. Just after Steve left our neighbor (who’s helping us with the pavers) showed up with a bobcat and asked if we wanted some help. Of course we used his help.
And before long our sidewalk was removed, our tree was laying flat in the neighbors yard (uprooting some of their sprinkler system) and nine 10ft bushes had also been pushed into the neighbor’s yard. This is about the time that Steve returned home and wondered what in the world I had done while he was away for one short hour!
We worked our tails off the rest of the day trying to calm the chaos that had become our yard. Someone in the neighborhood saw the tree down and came to cut a lot of firewood. The rest we cut into manageable sizes and put them in trailers. We made two trips to the dump and delivered 5 tons of stuff and we have two more trailers in front of our house ready to go.
We fixed the neighbor’s sprinkler system and made sure that was back up and running and then we picked up more oranges than I could count.
We ended up getting far more done than we ever anticipated but it was a long day full of a lot of hard work – and now our yard looks a little sad and very unwelcoming with our nice uneven dirt path leading to the front door. And my guess is it will look even worse before it gets better!
We certainly live in different areas and climates. Taking down five fruit bearing trees. Where I live we cannot remove trees without city approval, unless they are dead / diseased. To have a wealth of fresh oranges is a quite blessing. Was there not a fresh food bank or school breakfast program that would have taken them off your hands?
We are very fortunate to have orange trees and we absolutely love them. Unfortunately, we have 12 orange trees. Which is far more than we can manage. We open it up to family, neighbors, strangers – they're free for the taking and yet we still have way too many trees. They're all juicing oranges which aren't truly ready until the end of February or beginning of March which is past the time the food banks or anyone else accepts donations of citrus. The banks are so over run with citrus donations that they just stop taking donations and I'm not sure the reason why but they're not able to ship them across to state lines to other food banks.
Also – our trees are estimated at over 50 years old which is their typical fruit bearing period. They get old and end up having a lot of dead in them like ours. We plan on planting a couple trees (in different locations) of different varieties – I just wish I could get an avocado tree to grow here!
She had mentioned in a previous post that there is a point in the year where food banks are overrun with oranges and no longer accept the donations. She also mentions filling the freezer with the stuff. They are huge. No way they could even access all that fruit. They are two stories high. The flooding the yard seems like a wonderful thing to do for an orchard but a waste for a residential home.
I am also in a different part of the country and we also have rules about removing trees. Sometimes you need city approval even if your front yard is a forest. Sometimes you just need to make sure there is at least one 2 inch width tree in the front yard. Depends on if I'm in a tree city or not. She is in Arizona. I think anything she does personally to make less need to use water outside the better.