or when you're doing major damage control on all the ornamental trees in your yard before the real winter snow arrives.
I have to admit, I've spent too many hours wandering around my yard, trying to figure out what I can save (even though it may look terrible for the next few years until total recovery) and what has to be sacrificed.
This redbud (Cercis canandensis) is one of my favorite trees on our property, it's right next to the driveway. It blooms early in the season and is gorgeous (damn why didn't I take any pictures) and it's heart shaped leaves turn a beautiful rusty purple in the fall. It's got 3 major breaks, each on one of it's main limbs. There is no saving this tree. Even though I've already decided what to replace it with (Chionanthus virginicus for those who care) I'm not anxious for it to get cut down with a chain saw either. I've lightened it's load by removing some of the broken limbs - and so we could get into our garage, but I find the whole scene incredibly sad.
Both of my Metasequoias have lost their tops, and with trees like this with one central stem (think Christmas tree shape) it is uncertain what will happen. They received a stay of execution, as I'm hoping that one of the other higher branches will "take over" and start growing to try and replace the central stem. I know that might sound kind of crazy, but trees do this sort of thing all the time - somehow they just know. Mother Nature can be really remarkable sometimes.
There is more damage to my Viburnums, Ilexes and Hydrangeas that I can list - most will be getting a major haircut, even if that sacrifices there beauty and flowers for next season just to save them.
And then there is this....
I cried when I saw it (it didn't help that the power was out, and we were facing another multi-day outage).
I still can't open the door and get in, for fear that the whole thing will collapse since all the corners have been weakened. Within is still stuff waiting to be harvested, arugula, radishes, leaf lettuces and cilantro. Not to mention, I've got to get the garlic planted and prepare all the beds for winter/next growing season. I guess that one apple still hanging on will come in handy if I get hungry while working outside.