Saturday, October 30, 2010

Operation tree cutting

This week Simon came to me and said we were going to have a problem with our vegetable garden. The Syringa tree (an alien invader) in my neighbour's yard hangs over the boundary wall and casts a large shadow on the beds for most of the day. Vegetables need a significant amount of sun to grow so we needed to make a plan.  I phoned Janneman (the young neighbour) and asked him if we could cut the branches overhanging our garden. It's a law in South Africa - you may cut any growth from a shrub or tree which intrudes into your garden even if the roots are in the neighbour's plot. However, I have wonderful neighbours on all three sides (with a fourth, our bank manager over the boundary wall in the large garden - where my ponds are - and I want to remain friends with him!) and wanted to do it properly, so I phoned him for permission. Janneman said we could cut any branches we wanted to and that my gardeners could enter his garden to do it. Which is what we did. When (and I hope it is when and not if) my vegetables are ready for harvesting, I will send Janneman a basketful as a thank you gift

John was the first person up the tree .He scaled it before I arrived with my camera!  Grant gave John nylon rope with which to tie the branches so that they could be lowered carefully to the ground. We didn't want the boundary wall to be damaged in the process

 John waits while David fetches a ladder

David borrowed a long ladder from Janneman's gardener who was involved in this operation as well, albeit only from the firm position of the ground below the tree!
David reaches the branch where John is waiting with the saw around his neck

John stands on a large branch and saws the extended branches. David stands on another branch and watches. This process was repeated several times, with both the gardeners taking turns in sawing and watching (as their turn came along) until the job was done

I think John and David did a fine job of removing the offending branches without mutilating the tree

At 9.30am there was  a lot more sun on the vegetable garden than before. By midday the whole bed had full sun. I'm praying that my vegetables start growing now. I have pampered and molly coddled them enough; it's pay back time!


  1. Wow, what a big tree. Must be a lot of work sawing those branches. Nice pictures. Happy Halloween to you and family

  2. You did well with your strategy to keep the neighbours happy. It is always good to be on friendly terms with the neighbours and I know how sometimes these kinds of issues can inflame relations if not handled well. John and David did a wonderful job of pruning the tree and it really looks great! Your garden is now getting some wonderful sun and I'm sure you will be blessed with great veggies.

  3. Great job!!!! I hope there are LOTS of veggies from that garden... The guys did a great job of trimming the tree....


  4. That's right, vegetables do need lots of sunlight. I didn't plant any last year or this year because I was away a lot in the summer, but I want to plant squashes again next year. I don't think my veggie-loving dog will try to eat those.
    Your tree-trimming operation seems to have gone extremely well. And there's you out there watching and taking pictures. When we have our big trees trimmed, I won't watch. Scares me out of what few wits I have left. I'm afraid of heights and afraid of ladders, and the fear projects itself onto others, so I'm afraid to watch.
    Good for you!!
    Luv, K
    PS, I was checking to see when you planted your garden, and I came across your story about taking some of your plants to a friend's house. Just loved the pictures of your grandson. What a wee darling!

  5. Like your photos! Job well done!

  6. The men did a grand job of cutting branches and still leave a respectable looking tree for your neighbour.

  7. It is good to have a cooperative neighbour. Hope your veggies grow well now. Ours are starting to thrive at last. Each year we seem to get better at growing veggies but still not content.

  8. Excellent job and blog!! Super!!

    Frank, Barcelona

  9. That looks like quite a job, trimming the big tree. The vegetables will be happier for it, I'm sure.


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