Clematis: The Danger From Above

Just when you thought we were done with Clematis...

So, chop the vines and dig up the roots, what's stuck up in trees poses no threat, right?


Happened to glance upwards Saturday, whilst working on Apple harvesting, and saw...

Clumps of fluffy seedpods at the ends of dead Clematis vines, way up in the tops of that there tree they'd done climbed up upon, golly gee, just waiting a little longer 'til they was the perfection of ready to go and then they was a gonna drop on by and lite a spell.

Don't ask me where that bit of dialect came from, same place as all the rest, the depths of my so-called-mind.

But there were a lot of seedpods up there, fluffy, not quite ready to take off, but still and all sneering at me something awful. I don't take well to being sneered at.

Side note: Some plants take a die-back approach, Clematis appear to take a die-forward approach. Vascular structure forces whatever resources are in the vine forward to the ends, maintaining the life of any developing seeds for as long as is possible. If they have bloomed, you can't just cut the vine, you have to pull it out and dispose of the blooms so they don't scatter seeds all over the place a bit later. Almost an argument for Rational Design, especially since they have no redeeming traits; they strangle other plants, they are poison to anything which tries to eat them, extremely hardy and persistent little beggars.

Anyway, there they were, 15' up in the air, sneering at me.

So I cut down the tree.

It didn't quite start out that way, but I didn't like that tree, it too had no redeeming value, and it had grown untended such that it endangered the telephone and power lines going into the neighbor's house. We hadn't planted it, it 'volunteered' all on it's lonesome, just like that danged tree out by the big gates, the one I mostly took down earlier.

They don't call me 'Clear-Cut' for nothing.

When cutting things which bend and flex, you need a sturdy, stiff, blade, unlike what I used. You didn't think the previous post on saws came out of a vacuum, did you? Nope, wrote it after this adventure, when the problems with improper tools were most fresh in my mind.

Also helps if you can control the direction the tree falls. By cutting of various limbs one at a time, and then the four main trunks, I was able to avoid damaging the wires which were entangled by this tree-structured tree.

The one which is going to be a pain is the Walnut in the South East corner, it leans into the neighbor's yard and partially overhangs her roof. I'll have to use a ladder and de-limb it carefully, and then top it, prior to taking it down. It's about 8" diameter at the base of the trunk, its been growing a number of years, and it's now dropping walnuts of its own. Nasty things, walnuts, although I admit their skins make an excellent die, especially suited to staining the hands of kids sent out to pick walnuts for their grandmother, most irksome when I don't like, and never have liked, walnuts. It's a good stain, doesn't wash off rapidly, wears off instead.

Anyway, my arms ache from the sawing I did this morning, as I processed some of the wood I cut down; takes up a lot less space if you lop off the limbs, branches, twigs from the main trunks, and then you can separate them as to whether to keep them to dry and season for possible use, or to yard debris them.

At this point we are looking into a dumpster, and goody for us, they charge by weight; ours is low-mass high-volume, so it won't cast anything like when we were getting rid of sheetrock.

As I was mentioning, before I kept on writing, my arms ache, so its time to

Post this Puppy!

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