change - the only thing you can predict for certain



The young tiny Willow Myrtle that I brought home about 30 years ago has grown up and up, and is now slowly dying. My next door neighbour didn't like to see dead branches so we paid someone to cut some of the branches back. I don't mind looking at dead branches and brown leaves. To me it's part of the living and dying process. But I think I will have to get the company back because at least one of the branches could break off and is potentially dangerous.

On the other side of the garden a gum tree I also planted in the 1980s is growing towards the light and over my other neighbour's swimming pool, potentially very dangerous. Eucalypts are known to drop their branches unexpectedly and sensible campers don't erect tents under them.

I guess this is the sort of thing you have to expect from an established garden. After all, it's not as if it's ever finished ... time equals change.


I don't know who is nesting here, but there are definitely signs of habitation. This is the tree that is dying. I'll only cut off the branches that are dangerous, and if necessary I'll move the nesting box.



Even the metal ornaments change in time by rusting and decaying. Since it's a much slower rate of change there's not nearly as much upkeep. Anyway, this change presents no threats to health (so far as I know) and looks interesting and attractive!

Comments

  1. It really is too bad that you have to remove these dead limbs, although I understand perfectly that you have to respect your neighbours. You don't need me to tell you, of course, but dead trees provide habitat and food for myriad organisms. The more we can leave nature alone the better.

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    1. Hi David, this is an interesting comment because it makes me think about how nature is rarely left alone these days, even in so-called wild natural places let alone suburban gardens. It is a managed environment, like it or not. Maybe the important issue is how it is managed, by people thinking only in the short term, or by people who respect and understand the complexity of the environment. As I write this, ghastly news has come of millions of dead fish in a river system that has had too much water taken out of it for agriculture.

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  2. The rusty metal ornaments do look attractive. Wabi-sabi.

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    1. Hi Denise, I was not familiar with this concept so I looked it up and yes, it is exactly how I feel. So thank you for extending my education, and reminding me I really must visit Japan while I still can!

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  3. Love your ornaments. And mourn for the branches (and those they support) which you had to cut down.

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  4. Spent a small fortune having numerous pine trees removed in 2018. Pine borers.

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    1. Indeed, Linda. I'm dreading how much I'm going to have to pay for the next lot as soon as the tree people come back from their summer holidays.

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  5. It's too bad the Agonis flexuosa is nearing the end of its life span. I've got several of these trees myself, inherited with the garden, which I'm hoping to keep around for another couple of decades at least but, environmental stressors being what they are, I know I may not be able to count on that. I was thinking about change in the garden myself this morning as I took pruners to several plants that have grown far beyond my expectations, crowding neighboring plants and pathways. I'm hoping they'll respond positively to being hacked back but I had to wonder if I may be forced to replace them. If the latter is the case, I'll try to see it as an opportunity to try something different.

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    1. Hi Kris, The tree man who seemed very knowledgeable said A. flexuosa should live longer than 30 years so maybe yours will be more long lived. Actually some branches seem to be doing OK, but as you say you can't count on it.

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  6. Cutting back is a sign of a mature garden unfortunately and has to be done when safetly is an issue. I have a dead oak in the middle of my garden which I'm happy to leave as it doesn't affect anyone but me and my gardener. I hope if any branches come down it will be in the winter during a gale when no- one will be in the garden. The owls roost in it and the woodpeckers and nuthatches search the bark for insects, I would hate to have to cut it down as I have grown climbers up it.

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    1. HI Pauline, it is fortunate that the position of the dead oak doesn't threaten anyone - except you and your gardener, who are prepared to take a slight risk for the sake of the critters and you have made it look beautiful as well.

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  7. I am eyeing a few of my shrubby plants, which are sadly getting dead limbs. Prune and hope ...

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    1. Hi Diana, what is that saying? Expect the best, prepare for the worst? Something like that ...

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  8. Your words and the title of this blog are so wise. Years can go by with only minor changes to the landscape, and then one year so many things either change on their own or demand the gardener's attention all at once! As you say, safety is important where people live. I prefer the rusty ornaments--now very much at home in the garden. My son is traveling in Australia; I'll be curious to hear all his stories and see his pictures of his adventures. :)

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    1. Hi Beth, lovely to hear from you. I hope your son is having a wonderful trip.

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  9. Oh yes, Sue, we have to cut down the dying trees, they are dangerous for people and buildings. I planted two maple trees, they are not too old, but every summer I cut their branches so the neighbors not to be offended. Rusty things are always painted with special anti-corrosion fluids. Lovely to see your green garden!

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    1. Hi Nadezda, my green garden is a big contrast to your snowy garden! It's good you cut back the maple trees before they get too big. But I don't think that would have worked with these tall Australian native trees.

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