Finally getting around to removing this huge tree from my yard is making me very happy. Removing viburnum might be one of my best gardening moments. Okay, probably not really, but it is still a good feeling. I consider viburnum to be my nemesis.
This is part of the reason it drives me nuts to see people planting this as a hedge they are trying to maintain neatly at 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide. This plant wants to be big, so plant it where it can grow in its wonderful natural form.
This viburnum has been growing on the corner of our shed since we bought the house. Over time I have trimmed the errant branches that were spreading outward, trying to keep it as columnar as possible. I tried to love it more by planting orchids in its branches and beautiful bromeliads as its base.
With my dad visiting and his favorite Sawzall in hand, we started to take down the viburnum. The first step was to remove the bromeliad from the base. Because of the serrated leaves, I tied it up with a twine beforehand, saving my legs and arms from a countless amount of papercuts. The roots on bromeliads are not too extensive, so it was easy to pop out and set to the side until its new home was determined.
And then the fun began. Our goal here was to try to keep the large branches from falling on the plants on the north side. We took down each section, opening more and more of this area as each piece came down.
Each step of the way we bundled the branches with twine to make it easy for curbside pickup.
Finally, the final piece came out. At first I left the ‘Awabuki’ viburnum on the corner, but after a few hours it too was removed. I have to remind myself that I don’t need to get in a hurry on these things! We can always come back in a few hours, days or weeks and remove plants– its just hard to change your mind if you rush into cutting them down.
We flush cut each trunk as close to the ground as possible. Yes there will be some suckers that grow from the base. Removing viburnum this way is quick and easy and even if I have to snap off the suckers for a few months it doesn’t bother me too much.
The transformation here is fairly dramatic! I can’t believe how much it opened up the entire yard. It has exposed the porch of the neighbors behind us and I’ve already called my favorite bamboo grower to get a new plant for that area. The grass will certainly benefit from the afternoon light that now hits the lawn. I appreciate the openness but I am already brainstorming for the new plant to place on the corner of the shed… Any suggestions?