Tree trimming

Our suburban St. Louis city provides a "chipping service" twice a year, when they drive a truck through the neighborhoods collecting any limbs that the residents have put out for pickup, and feeding them into the chipper. Because of this service I have one or two days each Spring and Fall where I trim trees, remove bush honeysuckle, or take down small unwanted trees.

This past Sunday I did just that: trimmed some branches and removed a couple of smallish unwanted trees. I did not remove any bush honeysuckle, even though there are a few left on the common ground behind my yard -- I'll get those in the Spring.


Today's post covers the trimming section of the work, and I'll talk about the tree removals tomorrow.

All of the trees involved were white mulberry (Morus alba), which are not the most desirable trees to have in a relatively small yard, although they do produce pretty decent fruit most years. The branches on the tree next to the driveway are hanging a bit low, and also starting to touch the house:

It's mainly this large branch that is the problem:

Since I can remove it without making the tree too lopsided, I'll do that. This tree is highly visible next to the driveway, so I want to keep it looking as nice as possible -- a tree hacked into a strange, unbalanced shape is usually not very attractive.

I used my reciprocating saw for the first few cuts to see how that worked.

It worked, but was slower than I liked. So for most of the remaining cuts I used my trusty old bow saw (which I didn't take a photo of), and it cut much faster, especially with the new blade I put on it before starting.

I started by removing many of the medium-sized limbs from this branch to help lighten it. Since these are going into the large municipal chipper I left them fairly large -- if they were going into my smaller chipper I'd have to cut them a lot smaller. That's another reason to take advantage of the municipal service.

There are other branches higher up that are touching the house too, but there's no single brach that I can remove to rectify that situation:

Actually, this appears to be two different trees growing together:

I'm considering removing the one on the right, which would take care of the branches touching the house, but it's a bigger job that I'm not really up for right now. So I'll trim the branches as best I can and worry about this again next year.

A little work with the bow saw and eventually the chainsaw, and the branch is gone:

It really opens up the driveway a lot more too, or maybe that's just my imagination:

The bamboos growing here will be getting a bit more light next year, which they should appreciate even though they are shade-loving species.

Shoot. I've just realized that I've removed all of the lowest branches from my main berry tree, making mulberry collecting for a pie next year a lot more tricky. I might have to make smaller pies, or figure out how to utilize the driveway berries next year.

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