Stumpwall Fodder

Brooke here:

As I wandered around the yard this past Thursday night, I kept thinking If we had to sell our house right now, no one would buy it.  This is horrible.  It looks like a disaster area.  If something happens and we had to move, we are so screwed.  Gloomy thoughts, I know, but in my defense everything was covered in large fallen trees.  And in the trees’ defense, they didn’t want to be there, either.

After the tree nearly squished us in our sleep, we asked the people who chopped it into Stumpwall-sized pieces to look around at the other trees within squishing distance and see which ones might be dying or likely to come down in a storm.   They pointed out three dying trees, two long-leafed pines and an ash, that were losing bark and limbs.  The ash was a stone’s throw away from the house (judging by my weak noodly arms, not Brown’s more stone-hucking-capable arms) but the pines were both within twenty feet of my office.   And there were some limbs on healthy trees that had grown directly over the house and needed to be taken down, just in case.

Good morning! So peaceful. Azaleas are blooming, puppy is calm. You can practically hear the Morgenstemning.
ARGH NOOOOOO THE TREEEEEES..... Quick! Go find Crysta or Neytiri or whatever she's calling herself these days!

This is a Hired Dudes post through and through, by the way.  We did nothing except sit on our butts and write a check while a team of guys sawed and hacked and pulled and carted the stuff away.  I feel as though I should justify our laziness in some way, but other than to say we didn’t feel comfortable cutting down trees so close to the house, let alone going up into the trees to cut off specific branches, I can’t.  Or maybe I just did.   We didn’t want to crush our sh*t or break our necks, okay?

We did save some money by asking them to leave the stumps (I didn’t realize this meant leaving them where they fell so there are stumps everywhere and we have to move them… ), and the raw materials for Stumpwall have been replenished.

Stumpwall, with fallen trees. Sometimes I look at these pictures and think "We have made some bad decisions."
Stumpwall, after some cleanup. Zu, doing his part, eating a stick.

(Pupdate: Zu has finally learned how to play fetch.  I’m not sure if this is a Rottweiler trait or if both Cutter John and Zu just didn’t give a rat’s fart, but during their puppyhood they would watch me throw a ball and wonder why Lady Food Monkey was flailing and pointing.  I bring this up now as fetch has finally clicked in Zu’s head; I’ve been cleaning up by tossing sticks and smaller branches into the woods, and Zu will promptly run in and bring them back.)

Stumpwall fodder, after cleanup. There is another pile of this size down by the pool, where Stumpwall Jr. will do its part in the battle against ivy and good taste.

Today we get to return to the fence and garden stairs project, which was delayed on account of tree.  We’ve finally nailed down the fence design.  It’s awesome.  It’s a tight lattice weave that won’t require us to regrade the front (airquote) lawn (/airquote), and we’ve finally got a Kreg jig to do the pocket holes.  I keep telling myself that if we keep at it, someday people who aren’t crazy will want to buy this house.

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3 thoughts on “Stumpwall Fodder

  1. Smoke

    I think the stumpwall is charming. And thinking about all the improvements you’ve been doing, an emergency need not require finding someone quite as crazy as you. Probably more let’s-start-a-family-crazy than valuable-creative-type crazy.

  2. diTaykan

    I would totally buy your house had I the money, because I frankly love what you’ve been doing for it. And Stumpwall. Should I ever buy a property and need to have a tree cut down, that’s probably what I’d do just because it seems to work so well for you.

    Granted, the under-porch space would have been written off as ‘creepy’ and ‘possibly infested with me-eating demons’.

  3. Christopher Hawley

    Of course Zu only learned the concept of fetching sticks when he did … because you were trying to get rid of them.

    Serious awesomeness involved making the Stairway to Garden/???; the results look beautiful and look like they’ll last several lifetimes. I trust the local geography and topography are far more static than what we have in California, where stuff is often built cheaply because it isn’t gonna stay put for long.

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