A Cercis removal - a tale of two trees

I have recently written about adding a new Cercis to my garden: canadensis Eternal Flame.  As one moves in, sadly another has had to move on.  

This story starts ten years ago when the garden, and I, was younger than we are now.  I bought a rather lovely Cercis siliquastrum Lavender Twist.  I planted the tree and loved the tree and a dog got into the garden and snapped the young tree about 3 inches from the ground.  I wept, I railed, I went straight out and bought another Cercis.  I could not find another Lavender Twist so I bought a Cercis chinensis 'Avondale'.  What a wonderful tree this turned out to be.  It grew quickly, it grew well.  It flowered fairly soon after planting and.....
it developed a lean.  A serious lean.  Yes I had staked it but it rejected its stake and made a bid to live at its own angle.  I knew one day this would mean it would have to go but I pretended I could not see it
Such pretence is always doomed to failure.  Everytime I had to bend a little to walk by it I knew I had to deal with it.

Meanwhile, the siliquastrum Lavender Twist, which had wrongly been presumed dead, has flourished.
It has benefitted from being planted in the right place and whilst it did not flower quite so quickly, it has been a good tree.  It clearly has the will to survive.  This tree has rather lovely fresh green leaves which might mean it is more overlooked than its brightly coloured cousins, but it is not, in my opinion, a tree to overlook.

and then, without warning, the mood was upon me.  I often say the garden tells me what to do and the garden shouted very loudly "sort that bloody tree out!"
Firstly I removed the upper branches, rather than just toppling the tree.  I stood back and wondered if I should leave it like this for a bit to see what I thought.

I thought it was leaning and would not make itself stop leaning and that I should stop putting off the inevitable.
A few moments later and it was gone.  The stump of the Prunus Beni-chidori was also gone.  The Prunus died last winter, but I left it hoping that it might not really be dead.  It was really dead.

I stood back again and immediately knew that I had made the right decision, righting the wrong decision of where I had planted this tree.  I spent a moment to apologise to the tree as it was my error and not the trees, but it was going to fall and die at some point anyway.  The tree had given ten years of happiness which is no bad thing.

Gardening is very much a learning process for me.  This garden has been the first time I have planned a garden from a blank canvas, it is also the longest time I have lived in the same place.  The garden is growing and I have learned a lot.  Mistakes are made but that is part of the process.  I do not remove trees willy-nilly as I value what they give to the garden so it should have been a tough call.  But it wasn't: it had too much of a lean for it to remain and was far too close to the Medlar Tree.  Only an idiot would have planted it there....... oh ......

Take care and be kind.

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  1. "Mistakes are made, but that is part of the process" -- so true! We had to cut down our long-lived Redbud (planted by the previous owners), because it was tilting into the roof line of the house. Long story, but we now have two new ones, and the chopped one has sprouted new suckers. It's complicated, for sure.

  2. Lovely post. This is timely for me, as I look at a tree I may need to take down.


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