The bushes in front of the house have been there since, likely, the 1950s. It’s hard to know for sure, but considering how “full” those things were, it had to be for decades.
They weren’t particularly good looking and housed wasps and ground bees from time to time, so we’d talked about removing them for the past few years. The floorboards on the porch have gotten worse this year and needed replacement, so we were prompted to move up our timetable a bit on removal of the bushes.
We haven’t had much time this Spring so far, so Memorial Day weekend was the best option to try and get some of the work done. Last weekend in Columbia, I picked up a new reciprocating saw and some blades; we picked up some new clippers for Brooke for her birthday; and we borrowed my Dad’s chainsaw.
We went at them with the clippers first and then employed the reciprocating saw to go closer to the stumps of the bushes. There were two bushes in the front on each side that we were trying to remove, as well as one pine tree on each side. The spirea bushes were also overgrown, but we wanted to keep them and our local landscaping company, Springwater, recommended trimming them back substantially and letting them grown out again. Springwater also gave us some other landscaping ideas that we’ll employ as the Summer progresses.
The first two bushes went down relatively quickly and we had the next two trimmed down before lunchtime, so we made good progress before the temperature increased, though the sun got intense as the afternoon went on.
We took some breaks, of course. The kids were in the backyard with the pool up and various water toys, so they were entertained while the grown ups did actual work on their Memorial Day weekend…
I ended up using Dad’s chainsaw on the stumps and was able to flatten them out a bit to make it easier to cover them up. The stumps proved a lot stronger than we’d anticipated and the chainsaw proved useful, but not enough to complete the job. I hacked at the last stump as best I could but may need to let it rot a bit first before I can take an axe or something to it.
The wood under the porch floor seems to be pretty well intact, so we don’t think we’ll have to gut the whole thing and should just be able to replace the floorboards. Obviously, that could change (because we’ve never done anything like that before…), but we’re hopeful that it should be a relatively easy project.
We’re going to wait until after vacation before we kick that one off, though!