So Long to My Trees

You might remember that I wrote a blog post in June about two trees in front of my house. The dreaded Ash Bore got them. You can read that post HERE if you missed it.

Last week on Tuesday I had my doctor’s appointment in Rochester. I was pretty sure the trees where going to be taken down while I was gone. There were trucks lined up to the job.

Then that morning there were more vehicles and there were cones by each of the trees.

While I was at the appointment, my daughter Kayla and her son Jasper came to my house. She messaged me and said they were taking the trees down. I asked her to snap a couple of pictures.

She did…Here one is down and the other is going down…

Here they are both down.

I came home to this…what a difference.

I think it’s going to take a bit to get used to seeing the new look.

They came back and they ground out the stumps and now I need to seed it down…but first grass seed needs to be purchased. It’s always something.


I’ve asked everyone in the family what they think. The consensus is that we like seeing the house but hate the look of the street. We miss the trees arching over the road



I’m in a debate now. Do I plant trees again? The city says I can’t plant any between the sidewalk and the street. Do I really want trees that close to the house?

Come on friends, chime in and let me know what you would do. Would you plant trees or not? I’d love some opinions.

44 thoughts on “So Long to My Trees”

  1. I would DEFINITELY plant another tree or two. Not sure which way your house faces but I GREATLY miss my HUGE elm that was in the backyard when I bought the house (the back faces west). It was SO BIG and absolutely gorgeous but some kinda bug got it, too. I planted another (an Autumn Blaze maple this time) and while it’s coming along nicely, it’s still got a long ways to go before it creates the shade the other one did. I also have a big old live oak in the front and that one really gets watched closely just in case. I love trees!

    1. Susan Stringfellow

      In our town even though it’s city property, the homeowner is responsible for the street trees- we had to pay to have two cut down and the city said they had to be replaced- luckily the city had some free replacements.

  2. Christine Moravecek

    Good for you WITH YOUR NEW JOB…you had written that they were 10 hr. jobs…do you come home at lunchtime to let the dogs out? I too have a Beagle and she is older I can’t leave her for that long…again good luck..stay safe ..stay healthy…

  3. Plant more trees. Aside from adding value to your property, they will make you happy watching as they grow and mature. Pick something that will grow well in your climate. You could have an evergreen (lights at the holidays) or a deciduous (blazing color in autumn) or a lovely flowering tree (beautiful in spring).

  4. I would plant a tree and did. I planted about 10 feet from the street at my home. That was 20 years ago and now I have a beautiful shade tree but not close to the house

  5. Plant trees if you like. The shade helps keep the house cooler but watch to make sure they’re not too close to your water supply or foundation. This comes from experience. Congratulations on your new job! I hope you love working at the vet, sounds like a good fit for you.

    1. I would plant a tree. Maybe a couple small ones. I have a lot of trees in my yard and was very sad when we had to take 2 of them down. Do some research. Some trees are better than others. I’m Missouri they don’t want any Bradford pears planted because they are invasive. If you cut one down some group will give you another tree.
      We have a ton of people cutting down trees in my neighborhood and not replacing them. In another 10 years the neighborhood is going to look horrible.

  6. Maybe leave it alone for a season or two and see if you like the new look. You may like not having to rake the leaves or clean up branches from wind storms. Less can be nice. Our daughter loss 3 trees to Ash bore and in the end she only planted one to replace them. Your home is so pretty from the road with your gorgeous flowers.

  7. I’d plant new trees. Someone will enjoy the shade, windbreak and the energy savings a beautiful tree provides, if not you right away.
    They say the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The next best time is tomorrow.
    Your house is not totally “dressed “ without the trees.

  8. At least ONE– for shade — helps so much in the summer!! Can’t believe can’t plant between sidewalk and street!! But assume that is the city’s -and the cost wasn’t your responsibility to remove the others!!! ???

  9. We cut some trees down on our property because one was huge over our deck and roof. Another was the dreaded gum ball which is an ankle breaker. We have a decorative blooming tree not too big, perfect for bird feeders. I planted some Knock out roses and iris near the area where the gum ball tree was and I’m quite happy with it. Wait a year and see how you like it treeless. I sure don’t miss the leaves.

  10. Good suggestions already. Here in Texas the best time to plant trees is fall. I agree that you should wait a year and consider what, how big, how many?
    Meantime take lots of pictures of trees and landscaping you like and do some research. I love my trees that bloom and don’t get too big. Grandson had to do some major cutting on 2 trees as they were hitting the roof and hanging over driveway. I didn’t consider the size when I planted them 20+ years ago as they were tiny then.

  11. I agree with something small. A big shade tree would be really close to the house. I’m down south, and crepe myrtles are the favorite small blooming tree in our area. Don’t know if they grow in your climate, but they are beautiful.

  12. In my humble opinion, I think a lilac bush or two would look lovely in the front yard, and go nicely with the aesthetic of your home.

  13. YES! on the trees. But first have all your utility companies (phone, gas, electric, cable, internet, etc) come and identify where your underground items are & if possible, how far down each is. Make sure you locate your sewer hookup at the street, where does it go to connect to your house, where is the sewer clean out and HOW DEEP? Take pictures of their diagrams (they will mark where everything is on the ground) and use tapes to determine how far from property line or street or driveway, etc. We took loads of pictures & hubby printed those out & marked all that information for the future. We bought this house 2 years ago and just recently finished a new yard installation in front & back yards & it was a massive project — most of which we did ourselves. I wanted 3 trees out front (we had NO trees front or back when we bought, the previous owner cut all of them down!). By the time we located all the lines we had room for ONE tree, and that one is a 20′ max crepe myrtle tree that we planted in a raised 3 stone high planter. It’s basically planted IN the planter but can put roots down below it eventually and the planter is at least 5 feet across and probably 16 feet long. The backyard has NO utilities underground so we went from zero trees to 9, and those are all 20′ tall or less and most provide fall color, bloom, have a coral trunk, unusual (Firestarter Redbud – new to here, and a Black Tulip tree which we’ve never seen before). Don’t buy fast growing trees, they don’t last nearly as long as the ones that take longer to reach full maturity. If you buy trees that don’t grow really tall you won’t have to worry about it falling on the house if you plant it far enough away. Here every plant and tree is hooked up to low water under mulch watering systems to reduce water and is on timers as we have limited water in California a lot of years. Good luck!

  14. Call your city/town/village hall and ask them if they are going to plant another tree or two to replace what they took down. They might even have information on their website. Where I live, when the village removes a tree from the parkway, they replace it with another tree which they pay for. I personally would not plant a tree in my front yard because of the water supply pipes and I wouldn’t want it too close to my foundation. Tree roots can cause major damage to the pipes and foundation, which as you know, would be your responsibility to repair.

  15. Always plant trees.
    My town has a city department that’s in charge of trees in the rights-of-way and works with homeowners, but if yours does not, the county Extension Agent can be a valuable resource.
    Our City Forester has also put a lot of effort into planting many species, so the next infestation that comes along won’t cause the devastation that happened with Dutch Elm Disease and then Emerald Ash Borer.
    Eggs, baskets…

  16. We had the same situation and planted a flowering crab apple tree on the house side of the sidewalk. They don’t get too big and attract some pretty birds. I agree with others re; making sure it’s not over water or sewer or electrical lines. Enjoy some time looking at tree catalogs and sites before you decide. That’s part of the fun.

  17. I love the clean lines like it is but if you do plant, plant smart. Maples too close to the house will uproot your foundation and too close to the sidewalk same issue, not to mention they steal nutrients from the yard from other plants which is why grass never grows under them. Your non-fruit bearing pear trees are also beautiful but they are menace to the neighborhood since they are invasive, willows are messy. I would look at the white oak trees if you can’t plant a saw-tooth oak where you are.

  18. Replant something that will add color, design and interest to your property.
    Being the great quilter that you are, maybe some trees, that in Fall, will create a spectacular pattern of color, or something similar.
    I would plant some Crepe Myrtle. They grow nicely and will give you a nice tree line between the street and your house. Crepe Myrtle come in many varieties and colors. They are easy to maintain (just plant them and watch them grow), bloom twice a year, and are affordable.
    Another good choice, for a fast growing, heavy shade tree is a Weeping Chinese Elm, also know a a Drake Elm. Just a warning about the roots. When the tree grows, they can often push up the concrete sidewalk or a concrete slab. Maybe not the best for near the sidewalk but great for a large front yard with nothing underground.
    You could also ask you local chapter of the Arbor Day Foundation for suggestions or even free seedlings.
    I am certain that you will have fun choosing something great to replace the Elms that you had cut down. Can’t wait to hear what you decide to plant.

  19. I say no tree. Looks like the shade would not benefit the house. You don’t sit near the sidewalk, you sit on the porch, the kids probably don’t play in the front yard and you won’t have all the leaves to rake. Don’t you have enough yard work to do? If your house is insulated well and I’m sure you did living in Iowa. By the time that TREE gets big enough to give you all the shade you think you need……..just saying. Sorry to be so negative. How much shade did the downed tree give you?

  20. I suggest you plant trees that aren’t going to extremely tall. How about a couple dogwoods, they aren’t huge and they’ll be beautiful in summer. Also, since they’re smaller trees, the grandchildren will have fun climbing them when the limbs are stable enough.

  21. Four years ago we moved from an old established neighborhood with great big trees to a new addition with virtually no trees. I do miss the birds and squirrels, but surprisingly, I am loving the openness of having full sun for growing things. The old neighborhood seems to lose limbs or whole trees when we have a wind storm. That’s expensive and a nuisance as well as a safety issue. We don’t miss raking and cleaning out gutters. I’d say, try being treeless. You might love it.

  22. I, too, have an ash tree that’s very sick from Emerald Ash Borer and will come down sometime this fall. I’ll plant a replacement tree because it’s good for the environment, provides shade, and looks pretty. Can’t decide on what kind of tree, Arrrggghhh!

  23. I’m rural with a few acres so I’d plant trees, but in your situation I’d probably go with flowering shrubs. Here our bloom season starts out with forsythias, then lilacs and now the Rose of Sharon and Hydrangeas are putting on a show.
    Also if you decide to plant another tree definitely do your research. You don’t want to plant a “fast growing” tree that ends up being a nuisance in the future.

  24. I would plant trees. I’m biased though as I’ve been trying to plant trees at both my property and my mom’s. I’m only planting natives though and that is what I suggest. Find a lovely native variety you like and plant it!

  25. Looking down the street in one photo, it looks like there is a tree planted just on the house side of the sidewalk—I love trees and shade and I think I would do something like that. I planted a maple a few years ago and thought I would shortly have a lovely tree for at least two seasons on the way too sunny south side-that is the slowest growing tree ever and a bit of a disappointment. I wanted summer shades! Have fun with your decision making!

  26. I say plant a tiny blue spruce in the front yard and it will grow way faster than you expect. It will be a pretty color with your house and you won’t have to worry about raking.

  27. We had 2 beautiful maples on our boulevard. For years we struggled with clogged sewer pipes. RotoRooter at least once a year. Every 9 months sometimes.
    We finally got a huge section of pipe replaced. Problem solved.
    A few years ago the city took the trees down. They were hollow on the inside- we had an expert 2nd opinion.
    The city ground out the stumps, too.
    I have been so glad those trees are gone! Yes, they were on the south side of the front of our house. They provided a lot of shade. But we have the power lines on our side of the street so the city trim the trees to look like a gigantic “Y”. After years of water running down the 2 center trunks the trees get hollow. Dangerous.
    Roots travel a long way. A long. Long. Way.
    If you have new pipes you might be okay. Just something to think about.

  28. I say don’t. It’s hard to really tell from the picture, but your front yard doesn’t seems to be very large. Your house is so pretty, and your flowers are always beautiful, I don’t really think you need a tree. Something small wouldn’t give you shade, and something large would hide your lovely home. Plus like others have said, a deciduous tree means work—raking leaves, making sure it gets trimmed if needed (and that can be very expensive!
    I think waiting awhile to decide is a good suggestion too.

  29. There are columnar varieties of oak, maple and sweetgum. They are full, but don’t branch far out. They screen, but don’t invade. I have added some to my small yard and am grateful for their leafy shade and fall colors.

  30. Our city plants new trees in the spot they remove trees. They plant the ones that are good to have. You should have gotten the ground stumps for ground cover, that is if the trees were healthy. I had them bring me a load of grindings once. I used it all up and it is compost in the ground now. It disappeared into the soil. It works great.

  31. Reminds me of the bay tree infestation in FL — the lots became quite naked. Trees, yes; be mindful of the type you select and it won’t negatively impact the house.

  32. Never plant a tree within 10 feet of your house foundation. That is only asking for trouble. I would plant trees but look for some thing that grows fairly fast just as long as you can keep it away from the house. I like the shade in the summer but am not crazy about raking up leaves in the fall.

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