When we moved into this town home, we didn’t realize how dark it was until after we arrived. There are two citrus trees in back, and there were three huge, overgrown Oleanders. The next door neighbor spoke to us about getting the Oleander trimmed, since they shed constantly and their leaves were hurting her Camellias. We didn’t pursue it since we were renting and had other things to ask the landlords to fix first.

But a month ago we learned that Oleander, while very pretty, is poisonous. Just touching the leaves can be harmful. We want Claire to be safe out back. Since we are renewing the lease, it seemed like a good time to ask they be trimmed. We made the case to the owners, who sent someone to make an estimate. The recommendation was to remove them entirely. This morning that job was done. Now the backyard feels naked. One tree, a privet, was left; it was determined to be stable, provides a little shade, and doesn’t drop leaves. But it’s gangly, since the Oleander choked it so long the trunk is tall and branchless.

I’m always sad to see trees cut down. We’ve also lost some privacy. The foliage really blocked the view of our neighbors on both sides. One neighbor lives about 30 feet behind us (and they engage in loud and ugly arguments, from which the foliage gave at least visual protection). Yet safety is a priority. And now we have much more light coming into the house while still enjoying pockets of shade outside.

Before cutting, side view

before tree cutting

After cutting, side view

after tree cutting

Before cutting, direct back view

before tree cutting 2

After cutting, direct back view

after tree cutting 2

After cutting, direct back view again

after tree cutting 3
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3 Comments on “Transition”

  1. Linda Says:

    Weird looking “pole” you have outback in the middle of the wall! Now why would they leave something as gangly as that? Is there more tree on top? Guess you need to make do with what you have…

  2. Kathryn Says:

    Yes, that’s the privet and it does have leaves up high. I wanted it to be taken out but Husband preferred to leave it as long as it could withstand strong winds, which the tree guy said it would. Looks dumb to me, but I’m not that invested in it. 🙂

  3. Eden Says:

    See if the landlord would let you put in a child’s garden: butterfly bushes, lambs ears, other colorful or tactile plants. It would fill the space and give Claire something of her own.