Greetings from Seattle

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Doggone, Dogwood Gone

Our native Pacific dogwood trees are dying, falling victim to dogwood anthracnose, a fungus that defoliates the trees once they have leafed out in early summer, and over time weakens them until they succumb.

We have lost several and it's sad because they are beautiful with their early spring flowers. We noticed the latest casualty a year ago. In fact it was when Kay of Musings was here with Art and Dennis and Kay's mom. They had come to the Pacific Northwest to see the tulips and the cherry trees and spring gardens. We were in our yard and I saw Violet, Kay's mom, studying this tree, and that's when we noticed that it had not leafed out. It was dead.

We left it in place, planning to take it down in the fall, or in the winter, but finally, yesterday was the day.

Tom is not chain saw friendly. Oh, he can handle one just fine, but he can't get one to start. I have spent many hours out in the woods, when we used to go out and cut firewood, waiting for the chain saw to start. We have gone through several chain saws over the years, but the problem persists. It happened again yesterday morning. I worked on edging while he tried over and over again, flooding it, letting it settle, repeat, repeat, repeat. I went on line and looked up the users manual to see if we could tinker with the corroborator. That didn't do it. Finally I went on line to see where we could rent a chain saw. Home Depot to the rescue. 

It was 1:00 before we actually got going on the tree cutting.
 He cut off several large branches first, then up on a tall step ladder, he cut off the whole top of the tree. I was very nervous during that part of the job, afraid of kickback and the trunk hitting him and killing him. Relief flooded me when the top was on the ground and Tom was in one piece.  
 He cut down the rest of the trunk, and then we cut up the logs and the bigger branches and stacked the smaller stuff. 

 The stump is almost hidden in a clump of salal. 
 Tom returned the chainsaw in under four hours so the cost was only $35.00. From now on, whenever we need a chainsaw this is the way to go. Did I mention it was an electric chainsaw? Much easier. 

 Tom is making progress on splitting the large rounds. 
 While he took the saw back I stacked all the wood, trimmed all the branches and stacked them and raked up all of the small debris. 

By the end of the day all of that has been removed from the lawn.
 The wood pile is growing. 

And all of the smaller branches are bundled and ready to be hauled to the yard waste recycling station at the dump.

All in a good day's work. 


  1. You two are amazing. That looks like a lot of work. Gracious.

  2. I think Tom has a distinct problem with chain saws, solved by Home Depot! That is a lot of work but well done, you two. :-)

  3. What a relief it must be to have the tree down and no mishaps!

  4. wow, you've been busy. I know what you mean about chain saws-they are scary!

  5. Good for Tom and being able to use the chain saw. Yes, using a step ladder adds another level of risk. I don't think he swears enough to get the other chain saws to start.

  6. That was quite a day's work. So sad about the Dogwood fungus. They are such pretty trees. I didn't know about the chain saw rental. Not that I'll be handling one but if I ever need help at least I'll know where to go.

  7. Wow, you two are energizer bunnies getting that tree down and cleaned up in such short order. Sad about the dogwoods. They are so pretty in the spring.

  8. You did a beautiful job of using what you could and cleaning up the site. Good job.

  9. We bought an electric chain saw, much less frustration. Renting would have been much better. When I sold the house I gave it to my son and it is still merrily sawing away.

  10. Boy I hope dogwood anthracnose doesn't make it here. They are a favorite tree of mine. You guys do the work of a large work force. Mercy. I was going to recommend an electric chain saw and glad you discovered how neat and reliable they are.

  11. So sorry about the Dogwood. We have many native dogwood in our woods and so far so good, but that is hard to hear that there is a disease attacking them. Get a Stihl if you ever buy another chainsaw. Only one that we've ever owned that starts easily and that will idle when you need it to.

  12. Awwww...sad to lose trees... The ash here are dying and breaking from the emerald ash borer...

  13. And what a magnificent time we had with you and Tom! Mom was just talking about it the other day. Her memory might be fading a bit, but she remembers how much she enjoyed meeting you both and still can't get over how gorgeous your garden is. Good gosh! Taking down that dogwood was such a lot of work!!! And such a big tree. I can't believe you both did it on your own. You are amazing!

  14. So sad to hear about your dogwoods! You got a lot of cutting done! I have an electric chainsaw and love it although it does make me a bit nervous to use it.


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