Saturday, June 4, 2011

Legoman vs The Tree

There has been a lot of discussion over here at Betsy's about what to do with this tree. Well actually just the one massive branch overhanging the deck. This gorgeous poinciana tree was one of the clinchers for us buying Betsy. Our old house had a tiny yard but the most gorgeous mango tree in the world which had been the main feature for us when we bought there over a decade ago. We knew if we we ever left that house, it would be for another house with equally wonderful trees.

As you walk in from Betsy's front door, you can see down the length of the house, through some bifold doors , past the deck and onto the mammoth trunk of this grand old poinciana tree. Of course at the open house, the deck was  immaculately clean with not a leaf in sight, the gutters clear. The reality is of course slightly different.
Poinciana's have a LOT of really teeny tiny leaves. And they fall all day, every day of the year. In a gust of wind, the kids call it tree snow and it is beautiful. Unfortunately, when it rains (which it has done an awful lot over the last year) the leaves sit in the puddles and leach out a brownish dye that stains everything. The beautiful grey I had started to paint the deck is now riddled with grotty brown blotches that don't scrub clean. And the gutters, well poor Legoman cleared them completely and a month later they are putting him to shame again.

We are planning to build a roof over our deck in the near future which will protect the floors but will create a heap more gutters directly under the flight path of the tree snow. So, after much debate, I agreed to let  Legoman  loose up there to sort it out. Handsaw only, he is desperate for a chainsaw but I like him with all his limbs intact. It is a massive branch that we intend to lop, but the plan was for him to climb up and start at the ends, bit by bit so we could see how it looked. All under my watchful supervision, as he can occasionally go a bit crazy with the pruning until all you have left is a stick.

This is the branch that is going, as you can see it is massive and a really long way up. Luckily Legoman used to be a competitive rock climber so has no fear of heights. He fortunately does have a realistic fear of his own ability to be  a complete klutz and sensibly tied the saw onto the tree.

Look at that progress. Nothing like a bit of wanton destruction to make a bloke feel at peace with the universe.

Not to mention stopping to enjoy the view of a sunset over Mt Cootha as well as the rolling hills in the far southwest on the way to Beaudesert.

Stretched out to get that one last troublesome branch, after 3 different attempts to get the ladder closer have been thwarted. The ladder, even on top of the deck only reaches to about 8 metres, this branch was around 9.5m above the ground.

Finally, come down to survey the carnage. Typically I had just swept the deck before this urge to chop overcame the man.

Guess what we will be doing all day tomorrow. Luckily, we have at least three handsaws and all seasons family funpass to Willawong Dump. Yes, that is the curbside find in the background. I had been sanding and undercoating until it became unsafe to continue.

And the kids? The were safely sequestered away in another part of the garden. Nothing like raiding the vintage sheet set for some cubby love.

All this sunshine has frankly had us in a garden appreciating  frenzy. We also put together our first raised garden bed, lice treated the chooks, installed the new double nesting box  and did some weeding. And all this in the first week of winter. Another reason I love living in Brisbane.


  1. Legoman is a legend! Look at his spunky self up there on that big branch! Totally understand about the reality of living with big trees and their big branches, will probably make life easier now that the tree snow is at a minimum. Also LOVE the cubby - and the cheeky faces peeping out.

  2. The Farmer spent yesterday trying to remove a tree branch with a chain and the ute ( a lot less finesse than Legoman). Eventually he gave up and said he would return with the JCB....

  3. go lego man! I have a dodgy looking mango tree in my backyard if he ever feels the need to be at peace with the universe again.

  4. Wow, Legoman is brave! He must've been exhausted using just a handsaw - his workout for the weekend!!

  5. The Poinciana is stunning, especially in flower. Great pruning job, hopefully that solves the issues you had.
    I'm getting curious if you live in a suburb near me...