Our Tree Dilemma

Kyle and I live on a small piece of property. 0.16 acres to be exact (according to the City of Hartford). On the 0.16 acres we have our house, a small driveway, a shed, some gardens and shrubs, a weeping cherry tree, a medium-sized maple tree, and 4 very large maple trees. We’ve got a lot going on for our tiny plot.

I must admit, we have a love/hate relationship with our 4 very large maple trees. We love the character that they give our neighborhood. We love the shade they provide our house in the summer when it’s August and we have no air conditioning. We love the pretty foliage they provide in the fall.

Maples 1 and 2

On the other hand, we hate that they are so close to our house that they provide a litany of squirrels direct access to walk all over our roofs and try to find ways to get in to our home. We hate that they run through the power lines connecting to our house. We hate that the roots make our slate sidewalks uneven. We hate that it is nearly impossible to grow much grass because there is so much shade. We hate that they clog our gutters with junk throughout the year, making them fairly ineffective unless Kyle enacts his gutter cleaning solution.

Maple 3

I like trees, I really do. I just wish that whoever planted these trees 100-ish years ago (our house is 99 years old this year) would have realized just how big they would grow and how they would loom over the house causing our “hate” issues.

Kyle and I are currently struggling with the decision to possibly cut down one of our trees. The one closest to our house, right next to the driveway. The one that runs through our power lines, mildews our house, and acts as a squirrel superhighway. This decision is causing us much consternation. We do not want to kill a tree. We do not want our neighbors hating us for killing a tree. If we decide to cut down this tree, it will not be replaced by another, simply because our yard cannot accommodate more trees without causing the same problems to recur.

The Dilemma

So we are torn with what to do. We’ve spoken to one neighbor and they responded positively when we mentioned we were thinking about cutting down the tree. It blocks sun to their yard and impacts their flower and vegetable gardens. We would cut down on squirrel traffic on our house and a real problem spot with our gutters. It’s also the least healthy of our trees, as a previous owner that installed the driveway disturbed the root base, disallowing it from getting proper amounts of water and nutrition.

*Sigh* I don’t really know why I’m writing this post. Am I trying to get support to make us feel better about cutting down the tree? Am I trying to get readers to talk us out of our destructive decision? Maybe I am trying to see if others struggle with similar choices?

Thoughts, readers?

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