Julia Winter wrote:It's been a long while (sorry!) but I'm curious - have you done something with this structure?
Leigh Tate wrote:Oh my, I had this same problem. I put down weed matting (landscape cloth) thinking it would control weeds and ended up with a terrible mess. Because it covered such a large area, my husband ended up taking a tiller to it to cut through the mass of grasses and weeds growing through it. That was a mistake! It ended up shredding the cloth, resulting in hundreds of tiny bits of the stuff everywhere. I tried to rake up as much as I could, but so much of it had to be picked up by hand.
Years later, I still find pieces of it! I learned my lesson and will never use it again. Unfortunately, I can't tell you the best way to remove it, other than to encourage you to use whatever method shreds it the least. Even if it seems to take more time it will save the backbreaking work of hunting and pecking to find and pick up a bunch of little shreds and pieces.
Please let us know what you end up doing and how it works. I'll be curious.
Hester Winterbourne wrote:I would tend to agree with the folk who say it doesn't look like it needs pruning. Why do you think it would "benefit"? It does look like an oak, and possibly sessile rather than pedunculate, so presumably you're not looking for an improvement in fruit yield. Seems a bit late to try and encourage a better habit for eventual timber production. If it's been badly pruned in the past, I can see you might want to repair the damage by taking branches right out that had been cut back, but that's about all.
I agree with you about UK tree surgeons, they cater for people who want their trees made smaller. The customer is always right, and it creates more business in a few years when it needs doing all over again.
Skandi Rogers wrote:It looks like an English oak which although it's hard to estimate the girth would put it around the 150 year old mark. it also looks very healthy if a bit unsympathetically pruned, I assume because it shades other things. Lifting or thinning the canopy will not benefit the tree, though it may benefit you and anything you wish to put under it.
Mark Reed wrote:I agree with those that commented on what a beautiful tree it is. I can't see a single reason, from the trees point of view, that it needs any trimming at all. It's a glorious mature tree. I bet it's been there a 100 years at least. I wouldn't do a thing to it except protect it's root zone, no digging, no equipment at all, nothing but a lawn chair or just a blanket where I could recline and listen to it's stories. You say your in the UK? That tree probably remembers the sound of Hitler's Luftwaffe, the last thing I'd expose it to is the roar of a chain saw.
I am the proverbial tree freak. When I had the forester out to check my woods so I could put my land in "forest reserve" and not have to pay taxes I didn't know what "forest reserve" meant. Turns out it means chop then down for highest profit. He encouraged me to go ahead and harvest a stand of hard maples, some as big as your tree, said I should do that before a storm or something reduces their value.
I politely told hem he had overstayed his welcome and as far as the trees were concerned, they could die of old age and rot where they fall.
Jen Fulkerson wrote:I like cardboard, we seem to have an abundance of it because my son is addicted to Amazon. So it's a win win, get rid of the cardboard, and suppress the weeds. It doesn't last that long, but it gives you some time to get enough mulch, which ever kind you choose, down to keep the weeds out. If you choose to go with wood chips for paths, and aren't going to have enough of your own, lots of tree company's will give you wood chips for free. The down side of this is you don't know what kind of wood you will get, or what chemical the tree was exposed to. Pace yourself, when you have a huge project like that it's easy to get burnt out. Good luck to you.
Allison Whitacre wrote:Short answer, yes you can compost all those weeds! Chop em well and mix them in.
Long answer: use caution. Some weeds (we're looking at the ivy family here..) will somehow continue to grow even when buried into a pile. Baking them in the sun for a day or two first greatly helps prevent this. I love and hate my ground ivy. It's short so doesn't tend to bother my established plants, and the pollinators love the prolific purple flowers, plus it is super easy to pull up since it has a very shallow root and runner system. However, it takes a LOT of work to kill it. It's very hardy. My process is to pull it, spread it out on a tarp in the sun for 2 days, then add it to the compost pile. I immediately pull any very dedicated starts of it from the pile and repeat.