We just cut this magnificent tree down and, worst yet, while she was blooming. It still makes me sad to look at the gaping hole that’s left behind. If you knew this tree, you’d understand why we did it.
She’s been slowly dying over the last few years. It all started when one of her three large trunks snapped and fell onto one of the others. We promptly cut that trunk down but knew it was the beginning of the end. This year her buds (1/4 as many as normal) were turning brown as they were opening. She was covered in bugs and getting eaten alive by woodpeckers. It was time.
As a word of caution….when she was originally planted they thought she was going to be a shrub. The plant tag stated she’d only get 10-15.’ She was planted in a prominent spot in front of the house where she grew and grew and grew. She grew into a stunning tree. She just got a little too big, had a few too many trunks, and was a little too close to the house.
We will find another ‘Merrill’ to plant a little further away from the house. She will also grow to be magnificent (over 20 years). And our neighbors will finally forgive us (they’re not really mad, just a little confused).
The lesson here? Plant tags often share the size a tree or shrub will get over 10 years — but in most cases the plant will continue to grow. We have unlimited resources at our fingertips that weren’t available 10-20 years ago. I double check almost every time now.