The large maple in the back yard was home and pantry to all sorts of birds and animals, and so I wasn’t happy taking it down, but it needed doing.
The maple was asymmetrical and leaning over the house.
The issue was using a lot of energy to change things very fast and move all the organic material (tons of wood and leaves) off the property in a day because that is the way tree services work.
It went against my principle of making change slowly, even in removing invasive plants and ornamental shrubs.
I prefer to make large changes as incrementally as possible to minimize impacts on all creatures, especially salamanders and snails and other slow moving critters.
For the tree, I wish I could have left the main part of the trunk standing to rot in place and provide habitat for many kinds of insects, birds, and animals.
It could have been cut off at 12 feet, and I could put a beehive on top.
Given how small my yard is, I didn’t think that would have been practical or good for relations with neighbors.
Then I remembered that flower meadows are what happen after severe forest fires.
I decided an instant transformation to a flower meadow wouldn’t be the worst crime committed against the environment this year.
And so I had the tree cut down by a crew, and I got the scar in the land seeded by the first of May.
Now that the back yard is filled with pollinator magnets just like my front yard, it’s not unusual to see five or six or more large butterflies at a time on a sunny day.
There’s also heavy traffic of many different types of bees and dragonflies and insects. And hummingbirds and orioles and whatever other interesting species that happen to be passing through my neighborhood.
There are two small ponds with complete ecologies in my back yard, and now those ponds are in a lush flower meadow.