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Destumpification

When we took ownership of the Ordinary House, among other things, we inherited a very impressive stump. A remnant of a huge elm tree, the stump was a full ten feet tall and topped by a bushy vine which seemed to be the only thing keeping it from rotting to pieces. I’m told that this pairing was intentional yard ornament.  Knowing this, I’m willing to consider that it might have looked good once, but more recently it looked like H-E-double hockey sticks. Worse, the stump was situated directly in the line of sight of cars paused at the stop sign across the street. Everybody who’s driven by our house in recent years was probably as perplexed as we were about this peculiar vegetative arrangement. Not to mention the stump was directly outside the window of our kitchen-to-be.

elm stump

This year when Weezie asked me what I wanted for my birthday the answer was obvious: make that damn stump go away. Several weeks ago a local tree service made quick work of its removal.  There’s a clear view of the east side of the house for the first time in decades.

The unfortunate outcome of cutting down a tall stump is that you’re left with a short stump. But a quick call to the stump grinding man made sure that all evidence of the old elm tree was removed once and for all. It’s one of those easy changes that makes an outsize impact and leaves you wondering why you didn’t do it earlier.

ground stump

The corner of the yard deserves an ornamental tree, so our next challenge will be to make sure we get the right one.  Any suggestions?

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13 Comments Post a comment
  1. Anxious to see what you choose, as we have the same issue, having lost a very large birch tree to old age. Japanese maple?

    August 21, 2014
    • jrh #

      I do like Japanese maples although I’d want one much larger than what you typically see. I guess I’ll need to research which ones grow the biggest.

      August 23, 2014
  2. Being that I cut down that elm with my little red ax when I was 10 :), I would suggest an herb garden or crepe myrtle.

    Reid, when you and Weezie, get ready to “dedicate” the new kitchen, let’s have a party. Remember I am a caterer and have wonderful memories of Dr. Bob and Kitty Murphy entertaining at “Seven Hearths” where I learned early lessons in hospitality.

    Cheers,
    Zacki Murphy

    August 22, 2014
    • jrh #

      Sounds like crepe myrtle is the heavy favorite.

      Our kitchen project has been at a virtual standstill this summer. I’m hoping to make lots of progress this fall and winter. Stay tuned.

      August 23, 2014
  3. I’m fan of flowering cherries. Or Stewartia if you want to be fancy. Just stay far, far away from any of the Callery pear hybrids. Actually what Zacki said, maybe, since I’m profoundly jealous of the way crepe myrtles grow in your area.

    August 22, 2014
    • jrh #

      I’ve heard that you should stay away from pears as well. Stewartia is an interesting suggestion and one that I wasn’t familiar with before. And yes, crepe myrtles are always a reliable choice around here.

      August 23, 2014
  4. Anonymous #

    Crepe myrtle would thrive in the sun….and the bark is beautiful in the winter.

    August 22, 2014
    • jrh #

      Agreed. There are actually three large crepe myrtles around the corner and I’ve wondered about the idea of continuing that line.

      August 23, 2014
  5. chris highley #

    Glad to see your stump nicely leveled. Also glad to read another post–I’ve been waiting with anticipation! My vote for a tree is along Leslie’s lines, but slightly different: red maple (like these guys here: http://www.naturehills.com/autumn-blazer-red-maple?gclid=CIbRwaqWp8ACFSpo7Aodqx0ASg). Fall’s my favorite season, and nothing beats a red maple in fall. I think they look like they’re radiating light sometimes. They used to line the streets around my high school. Their color still amazes me. Get a few, plant a grove. I know they’re pretty common and all, but that’s my vote.

    August 22, 2014
    • jrh #

      Good thought, and the red would look good against the green paint. Given our experiences with squirrels, I’m a little concerned that a maple might get big enough to allow them access to the roof, but I suppose that could be controlled with some thoughtful pruning over the years.

      August 23, 2014
  6. yer wife #

    For the record, Reid also got socks and undershirts for his birthday.
    Wasn’t your Paw partial to redbuds?

    August 23, 2014
    • Anonymous #

      Yes he was.

      August 24, 2014
      • Anonymous #

        And I’m so glad he got some new socks.

        August 24, 2014

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