In the fall we discovered that one of our trees in the front yard was sick. It was pretty late in the season when we discovered the problem (after all the leaves had fallen) so we decided to leave it over the winter.

In case you couldn’t guess, the tree in question is on the right.

This spring we had to do something about it. The tree had caught (after some googling) black knot fungus. It only attacks trees in the cherry family. But I found out (after some more googling) that there’s not much you can do for the tree once it has the fungus. You need to do some pretty severe pruning (particularly in our case where the fungus was widespread) to keep the tree alive.

Brace yourselves… here’s what black knot fungus looks like:

Normally I’m in favour of saving trees. This tree, however, is a bit of a problem child tree to begin with. You see it needs to be pruned back in the best of times, just to keep it from damaging our roof and eaves. It’s a beast of a tree for our front yard. Since just trying to save this tree would have it looking a little like a Charlie Brown Christmas tree and said pruning would not actually get rid of the fungus, and in its current state it was perilously placed to do damage to our house, we opted to have him removed.

Here’s the before again:

And here’s the after:

Don’t judge the rest of the jungle that’s going on in there. I didn’t know it was so bad until the tree was gone.

We had a local tree service come and cut him down, take him away (safely – knots can produce and release spores up to 4 months after the tree is cut. Google is great!), and grind the stump.

All is not un-environmentally friendly lost. We’ll be replacing him with another shrub or bush in that spot to help balance the space again. See how the window looks kinda off centre?

How does your garden grow? Got any ideas on what to put there? Anyone else ever have black knot problems? What are you doing to your garden this year?


5 thoughts on “Timber

  1. The picture of the fungus made my stomach flip flop. Some sort of flowering bush, roses perhaps, would look nice there. They are pretty low maintenance we find… just a little bit of trimming but nothing major.

  2. What a coincidence – we just had the tree trimmers out yesterday to do our trees and we found out one of ours has some sort of disease that causes it to leak sap into these little white bumps. Hopefully we can catch ours early though, because it’s a BIG tree.

    I love how open and welcoming your house looks now – it will be fun to see what you decide to do with that area. I bet you get a lot more light into those windows now, too!

    • Yes! I’m loving how much light we get in there… though admittedly we don’t spend much time in there (it’s unfurnished). But, having the sand cherry gone, has made me think that I don’t want to replace it with anything that’ll take up so much of the view, or be so imposing at the front of the house.

  3. wow that made a huge difference! it really opened up your house and says “welcome” a lot more! way to go – that’s a lot of work!

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