The trees have outgrown the house — now what?
We're thinking of removing three large evergreen trees that have taken over our front yard, but the middle one is so nicely formed we hate to cut it down. What should we do?
— David, Janesville, WI
Roger Cook replies: You're right — the middle tree looks absolutely gorgeous, but none of them fits in with the scale of your house. They really do need to go. Here are a few options to consider.
You could hire a certified landscaper or arborist to move the middle tree to a better location somewhere on your property, one that it won't outgrow. (A landscaper or arborist will be able to tell you how big the tree will get.) Give it attentive care for a while so it can reestablish itself, and it should start growing again.
If an on-site move isn't feasible, how about selling it? Calls to landscapers or arborists may turn up one who has a use for it. Here in the Boston area we have several firms with truck-mounted tree spades who buy and remove trees every bit as big as yours.
If neither of these options works for you, maybe you can donate the tree, or even all three, to your town to use as Christmas trees. They'd probably remove them for free, in that case. Or place a call to New York City — I notice there's a new Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center every year.