The other day I realized that in Google street view you can go back and see images from previous years. I've always been curious about the big maple tree in my front yard, and how it came to be so disfigured and oddly shaped. I don't have any answers to that, but older Google street view pics indicate that up until about 10-12 years ago, she was a full tree.
Now, I'm doing everything I can to save what's left. There's still some work to be done - I've gotten just about everything I can get to from the ground - and I may have somebody come out this winter with a lift to deal with the stuff I can't reach.
That said...it's kinda neat to see the changes to the front landscape over the past year and a half. For example, the year before I closed on the place she looked like this:
That big bushy chunk of green in the center of the pic, as well as the much taller stuff directly behind it, as well as the stuff to the right of it, all 1 tree. If you follow the fence line down towards my neighbor's house, you can see a downed limb laying across the fence; apparently that was a common occurrence and my neighbor would have to deal with it or the limbs would lay there forever. From the front of the house, that shot looks like this:
From in front of my neighbor's house, that looks like this:
And now, after an absolutely silly amount of tree trimming with not much more than elbow grease and a ridiculously long pole saw, as well as some other minor landscaping endeavors (I really haven't spent a lot of time dealing with the front yard, the ivy kinda is what it is for the foreseeable future):
By all rights the lower 4 or 5 limbs should've been pruned decades and decades ago, but now if I get rid of them - the big one sticking out to the right in the pics - there won't be much tree left. The hope is that by eliminating the dead stuff and selectively trimming the branches growing the wrong direction, the interior of the tree will regenerate itself a bit. I've seen new growth on the lower limbs so I think the tree is healthy, now it's a matter of getting it to regrow, as much as it can, where it's been butchered in past years.
Side by side, those shots look like this:
I think the tree looks a little happier now, eh? Sometimes it's good to remind myself that for as much work as there is left to do, quite a bit has been done already.