|Tipuanas in May 2011|
Finally the ground was dry enough towards the middle of July and we gave the tree loppers the go ahead to remove the trees.
My partner gave clear instructions to the tree loppers of leaving our precious banana tree standing (we finally have fruit after 5 years!) and asked them to avoid damaging the tree. We could not believe our eyes when a minute later, yes, 60 seconds later, one of the guys (aka the "Banana Murderer") was half hanging, half wrestling with the same tree until it lay flat on the ground. Too late to save the tree, we hurried outside and quickly removed the precious, unripe bunch of bananas and hung them under the house in the hope the fruit might still ripen (which it did not), before the truck moved in and work began in earnest.
It always amazes me that people are able to cut down a tree in a couple of hours when it took decades for it to reach maturity. The crew took a day and a half to chop eleven trees down.
We went from this last year:
The Tipuana trees (Tipuana tipu) bled red sap. A beautiful deep red, like blood. The next day we collected as much as we could of this sap, some was still liquid and some had dried to a crumbly texture. Hopefully we will get to use it as a paint of some sorts.
The native bee nest in the stump of one of the Tipuanas was saved and the bees stayed on. We have capped the stump with an old metal sheet and the bees now have an overhang to shelter them from the weather.
We are now faced with a "brown desert". It is depressing to look at but at the same time full of new possibilities. In the meantime there are weeds to contend with, it seems our backyard is host to the worst obnoxious weeds. There's Madeira Vine (Anredera cordifolia), Onion weed (Nothoscordum inodorum), Nutgrass (Cyperus rotundus), Cobbler's Pegs (Bidens pilosa ), Chinese Elm seedlings (Ulmus parvifolia), Oxalis, the list goes on, you name it - chances are we've got it.
I will end on a positive note: The Banana Murderer did not succeed in totally getting rid of our banana tree.
Imagine my joy when I noticed five little side shoots coming off the cut trunk of the old tree. Now we will let them grow a bit taller before we'll carefully separate them into five new banana trees and a couple of years down the track we might finally enjoy our banana crop.
|young banana shoots|
Until next time... I wish you every success dealing with your weeds!