Sunday, February 21, 2010

What To Do With A Fallen Hemlock?

At the very back of our lot, we have this fallen giant. It died shortly after we finished building, and we thought the cause was "Global Warming" - the 90's were hotter and drier in this area that the previous decade had been. After some research, and many conversations with local tree people, I have come to the conclusion that the sewer lines that were dug across the back of this lot (when the area was subdivided) were more likely to be the cause of its premature death, as that digging damaged its roots. Now that it has become a Nurse Log, I'm trying to find ways to work it into my landscape plan - if you live in my yard, you work!
It is growing neat mushrooms, and the squirrels love to use it as a highway to the wild, but I've come up with a different job for that giant (it was 45 ft.+). That log is going to hold up the back of my lasagna garden. There's lot of sticks , leaves, worn-out soil, shredded paper (tax time) and compost to build the layers, and then I can plant some sun loving perennials and shrubs to hide that neighbour's shed and deter those hungry deer. I'll post a picture of the finished bed, before it's planted. Right now, while it is in process, it looks disgusting.


  1. You know I hate to tell you this but lasagna doesn't grow in a garden ;-} - I had to chuckle when I read that, because it reminded me of my mother. A city girl, she was totally taken in by a TV new show's April Fool segment one year - all about the spaghetti tree farmers of Italy! But also - it is very apropos of a small project I am planning for the same reason - we had a small oak fall in the last storms, and it fell across the road so obviously couldn't stay - the stump is still there, sitting at a angle, roots up, partly buried, and I plan to haul down some dirt and compost to build up a planting bed. But it is very dry, and nowhere near any irrigation, so I don't think the lasagna approach would work. I need to think about what will survive with no summer water after the first year. BTW, your ferns look absolutely lovely. You are doing what I hope to be doing in 5 years or so - totally full time on the property. I wish I could retire now - you are living my dream life!!

  2. Thank you Country Mouse- we had a stump from a large juniper that we had to cut down in our front yard. The landscaper has planted it 12 to 14 inches from the house (it was supposed to be a narrow ,weeping juniper) but turned out to be one of those full size, 5 foot wide types. W couldn't dig out the root, as it would damage the rhodos around it, so my hubby (the bird house builder)made a large (24"x24") cedar box to fit over the stump, and we fill it with dirt and compost and planted a small bamboo. Caged in its box, this bamboo will take a long time to reach any size, so the stump will be well rotted by then. Perhaps a box around your root would work, as it's easier to keep the soil moist.

  3. Your old hemlock is going to find a new life providing all kinds of uses in your garden!

    Thanks for visiting my blog--I see we have several things in common. I'm a retired teacher, too, and I've been starting my garden from scratch for the past 5 years. At the rate I'm going, it should really be beautiful by the time I'm 90:)

  4. Great idea to use the log for your "lasagna" garden. LOL...clever! I'm excited to see the finished product. Also, bravo for keeping the many don't and never realize the multitude of creatures that get left out in the cold.