Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Street End Of The Forest

We call the collection of Spartan Junipers along our driveway "The Forest."  It is a great visual screen and a great windbreak.  It is home to many birds.

We knew the junipers near the street were out over the sidewalk a bit.  We've always pruned off branches that wanted to reach way out there.The sidewalk along our street is fairly wide.  While the junipers have been keeping people from using some of the sidewalk, they have not been keeping people from using the sidewalk at all.  No one has had to step off into the street because of the junipers.  However, they were reaching into the public right of way.  So, we were not surprised when we got an official letter from the city to trim back the junipers.  On Saturday, my wonderful husband and I pruned back all the juniper branches that were reaching over the sidewalk in the area up to eight feet high per the city's code.

From our next door neighbor's yard, all looks fine.

From our yard, all looks fine.

From our neighbor's yard across the street, Eeek!  It is not an appealing look.

Time will moderate the cuts and we'll get used to it.  We have not really affected the wind break.  Not sure what the birds think of the morning sun coming into the forest more.

It is possible to use all of the sidewalk again. 

This will be a noticeable change in the garden tour photos compared to last month.

We were not thrilled to have to do this, but we still have the trees.  In the mean time, we're visiting with all the neighbors who want to know why we did this.  So, on the bright side, it's bringing people together.


  1. It is good you were able to trim the trees yourselves, to conform to the city rules, and your wind break still looks good, except for that one view.

  2. Always hard to have to do something like that, but it will be for the best.
    And isn't it nice how that brings neighbors together?

  3. This really is a hard thing to do after the trees have grown so well and look so beautiful. I have a suggestion, if you want it...maybe you could trim up some of the bare branches and hang a couple of cute bird houses in there. Maybe a rustic garden sign...or some garden art gnomes. angels, wooden birds. It might take on a very cute look....something that you planned.
    Just a couple of ideas.

  4. It's always hard for me to have to trim something that is growing so well. At least you two could do the work and comply with the code. I know in time, it will look good again. Had you thought of a decorative trellis or something until the green fills in?

  5. Gosh you really trimmed them back! I will admit that evergreens don't recover the same as deciduous shrubs.

  6. The Junipers are gorgeous. They remind me the big Red Spruce Trees we saw at the higher elevations in West VA.

    I know how hard it is to prune pretty trees and shrubs. Our big Jasmine is too big now --so we have had to prune it some... I hate to do it --but it will look better in the long run. We have to be careful when pruning since sometimes the birds do build nests in it.


  7. GonSS, trimming bushes and trees is always a difficult thing to do. Invariably city landscapers plant trees and shrubs too close to the houses and they look cute when small but 25 years later they become problems when they grow out over the roof and rub against the house. I'm surprised the city gave you an opportunity to trim them yourself. I haven't had to deal with that here but I suspect they would just send out a truck and trim it. I've seen some real hack jobs from city trimming. They are not too careful about what it looks like when they are done. So it's a good thing they let you shape it some what. I'm not a shrub guy so I don't know how long it takes to recover from a harsh trim.

    Have a great forest recovery day.

  8. Ah, I tend to really rebel against the "got to trim it" crowd - even though I know it's often for the best. I was going to suggest planting a vine or two, or maybe some perennials to soften the look from across the street, but then I read Balisha's comment and really liked her ideas! It'll be fun to see what you decide to do, if anything. The one perennial truth in gardening is that our gardens always change!


  9. I had a spreading juniper that was old that I finally had to remove. I was getting tired of getting hit in the face as I walked by them. I also thought it was too big with so much wood on the inside of it.

  10. My goodness, I'm getting some good ideas from you. Thank you! There is a perennial vine that I've often though I didn't have room for, but maybe I do now. In the meantime, I need to scout out some decorations. Hmmm. You are very supportive. If we had not trimmed them ourselves (or hired them trimmed), the city would have sent a crew and sent us a bill. That usually results in a lot of stubs as they simply take trimmers to the branches until they fit into the 'box.' We cut the 'offending' branches back to natural forks in the trees so we don't have stubs. Now to check on that vine idea. Thanks!

  11. Oh bummer! Can't wait to see what you decide to do with it!! It's so hard when they are so tiny. .to visualize what they will look like grown. .and in my case. .few things make it to "grown" :-) Good luck!

  12. Sometimes those trees have a way of getting out of control and getting too big. The part of gardening I really don't like. Junipers are tough and they should recover tho it is always harder for evergreens to grow back. It is much better for the public now. I'm impressed your city sent you a letter. Ours, well, no codes here as they simply don't care and things can get ugly in the community so be happy you live in a community that cares.


All comments go through "comment moderation." You will not see your comment on the website immediately. I want to read every comment. By using "comment moderation," I won't miss a single one. Thank you for visiting "Garden on Sherlock Street." Happy gardening! ~Gardener on Sherlock Street