Sunday, January 18, 2015

Drake Chinese Elm Tree Removal Jacksonville Florida

Are you familiar with the Drake Chinese Elm tree? It wasn't until I bought my house in June 2011 and went through the first season of that tree in my front yard that I formed my personal opinion on this tree. I do not recommend planting this tree in your front yard.

On Friday, January 16, 2015, Camden and Son Tree Service removed my Drake Chinese Elm tree from my front yard. I am awaiting the grinding of the stump which should be scheduled within the week. I first need to call Sunshine 811 to coordinate the "call 811 before you dig" process. On Saturday, January 17th, AT&T came out and moved my line away from the base of the tree.

Drake Chinese Elm Tree Removal Jacksonville Florida
Drake Chinese Elm Tree Removal by Camden and Son Tree Service
Photo Taken : January 16, 2015
It is a "messy" tree!

Seeds, Seeds, Seeds!!! The past four years I have spent countless hours in the front yard picking up leaf and seed pod clumps from my front yard. This tree is a squirrel magnet - they will come from near and far to feed on the seed pods.

Drake Chinese Elm Tree Removal Jacksonville Florida
Drake Chinese Elm Tree Removal by Camden and Son Tree Service
Photo Taken : January 16, 2015
So what? Well, I have never seen so many seed pods from a tree! The individual seed is encased in a light brown or tan wafer that is about the size of a fingernail. You can often see them coming down like little snowflakes that will blow here and there and accumulate in your mulch, stone, dirt and grass. Then, they will begin to sprout little seedlings. Ever look at a container of sprouts at the store? Well, imagine that density of seedlings forming a blanket over everything in your front yard.

Drake Chinese Elm Tree Seeds and Seedlings
Drake Chinese Elm Tree Seeds and Seedlings
"The Bane of My Existence" ~ JaguarJulie Ann Brady !!
The wind will carry those little seed wafers over your roof and into your side and back yards. And, they will blow into your neighbors' yards to sprout the little seedlings everywhere.

Drake Chinese Elm Tree Removal Jacksonville Florida
Drake Chinese Elm Tree Removal by Camden and Son Tree Service
Photo Taken : January 16, 2015
I pull the seedlings, emerging from the ground, by hand. I actually wait for them to get about 3 inches high and will pull a clump of them at a time. As of this writing, I have spent three separate occasions dedicated to pulling seedlings from my front yard. That's over 28 hours already; I still have a lot more seedlings to pull!

Roots, Roots, Roots!!! I don't know how old this tree WAS, but the roots had finally become an issue. The roots formed a root ball around the tree that was a good twelve inches above the ground. I was thinking that the previous owner, who put the tree in, must not have planted it deep enough.

Drake Chinese Elm Tree Removal Jacksonville Florida
Drake Chinese Elm Tree Removal by Camden and Son Tree Service
Photo Taken : January 16, 2015
The roots had not yet lifted my sidewalk or driveway, but that was a matter of time. Those roots have made it into my side yard. When I was putting in the two Bottlebrushes in front of the privacy fence gate, I found a root from that tree; it was definitely an inch in diameter, if not more.

Those roots were running above the surface of the ground on the perimeter of the tree. They finally began to significantly impact my grass which was already sparse under the tree. I would say it wasn't from the shade, but from an aggressive root system, that the grass wasn't growing. I've actually tripped over the roots when I have been mowing the grass.

Drake Chinese Elm Tree Removal Jacksonville Florida
Drake Chinese Elm Tree Removal by Camden and Son Tree Service
Photo Taken : January 16, 2015
Bark, Bark, Bark!!! The first year of experiencing the Drake Chinese Elm Tree, I thought it had some infection. The bark was exfoliating in clumps from the tree base and branches. My front yard was littered with large clumps of bark. You could actually peel the bark; and I did!

Drake Chinese Elm Tree Removal Jacksonville Florida
Drake Chinese Elm Tree Removal by Camden and Son Tree Service
Photo Taken : January 16, 2015
Camden and Son Tree Service

I have worked with Diane Camden and her son on three separate occasions. They first trimmed the water oaks in my back yard before I brought them out for a marathon day of water oak trees removal. When I called Diane, I had planned on aggressively trimming the Drake Chinese Elm tree. Diane and her crew showed up around Noon on Friday. We chatted about what I had in mind. When her son said, "if you take out more than 25% of the tree, you will endanger it." So, I asked, "how much to take out that tree?"

It really wasn't in the budget for a tree removal, but I opted to "take it out" and told Diane, "go ahead and take it out!" The price quoted was $475.00 which includes stump grinding. Considering all the hours I have already spent "cleaning up" after this tree, and all the hours to go, I figured my personal time was worth more.

Lucky for me, Diane is an efficient gal. She showed up with a crew with all the necessary equipment to do a fast and clean job. It was surely under two full hours to accomplish the job. They ground all the limbs and then carted away the cut base. Some of those wood pieces looked excellent for craft uses.

Drake Chinese Elm Tree Removal Jacksonville Florida
Drake Chinese Elm Tree Removal by Camden and Son Tree Service
Photo Taken : January 16, 2015
What I Will Miss!

It looked beautiful. But, looks can be deceiving!! Don't get me wrong, there are some positives about this tree. The first thing I will miss about this tree? Oh boy, this was surely a beautiful tree from the artistic shape of the base. It actually looked like the torso of a woman! And, looking at the major limbs of that tree, they too were quite attractive in their shape. I had worked on the tree each season to prune and trim it so that it formed a very attractive canopy. I appreciated the shade that the canopy afforded my yard.

Poor birds! I have had quite a few birds' nests built in that tree! You can actually see the biggest nest that was left in the tree. I think it was a cardinal bird's nest. There were a lot of different birds that frequented that tree. Cardinals, mockingbirds, mourning doves, bluebirds, thrushes, and even a red-shouldered hawk! I've found birds' eggs in my front lawn and even witnessed the hawk stripping a young mockingbird. I've watched the courtship of two mourning doves. I will miss the birds!

No more squirrels in my front yard tree! I definitely will NOT miss all those squirrels! Holy smokes, those are the fattest squirrels I have ever seen!

Drake Chinese Elm Tree Resource

The University of Florida IFAS Extension has a very detailed and informative page on the Drake Chinese Elm. I had to smile at their introductory statement about said tree; i.e., "An excellent tree that is surprisingly under-used, Chinese Elm possesses many traits which make it ideal for a multitude of landscape uses."

Perhaps, homeowner word-of-mouth has impacted the planting of this tree in people's yards? I don't know. But, I don't recommend planting it!!

3 comments:

John Mclaughlin said...

It always is unfortunate to watch a tree be cut down. That being said, it does seem like this Drake tree was a very big problem when it came to the fall season. I personally agree that seeds are something that really need to be considered because of all the potential problems that can arise from them. That being said, it does sound like the removal was smooth, and hopefully relieving. Your yard does look amazing with that tree out of the way now. Thank you for sharing.

http://www.chinotreeservice.com/Tree-Maintenance-Chino-CA.html

Randy Johnson said...

I have about 40 of these trees on my 3 acres. It is the Bane of my yard existence is well. Those seeds will literally cover every single inch of a flowerbed, driveway, yard, car any object known to man then every single seed will sprout. It is the proverbial rabbit of the tree world. If it was not for the seeds, the trees are fine, but I just hate the seeds. They plug my gutter downspouts cause the downspouts to backup and get water into the basement. I'm so over these trees. Someone, please come take them!

JaguarJulie Brady said...

Thank you John and Randy for your comments. If I had been a short time resident with that tree issue, I might have tolerated it and not cut the tree down. However, since I was in that house for 4 years, the little sprouts finally did me in!!! I seriously didn't have tree removal in my heart or budget, but it was a big sigh of relief when I took it out. NOT TO MENTION all the positive remarks I got from drive-bys and neighbors about how good my yard, house and roof looked now that the tree was gone! Hey, Randy, perhaps if you put a notice in Craigslist or your local classifieds that you had these trees available, you might get takers!