A Tree Grows in Hazlet

Last week we decided to take care of some business around the house, outdoors to be exact. As we blogged about in the past, a tree fell on my car last year during Hurricane Sandy. Since then, we have obviously wanted to get rid of the eyesore in our back yard (the broken tree).

In addition to that, there is a big huge oak tree in our neighbors driveway, right on our property line. This tree is so huge, it’s limbs extend out to the street, out to our backyard and out, across our driveway in a few directions. The limbs were getting dangerously close to the house and were already putting our cars in a lot of danger…until now! We did our homework on several tree experts in the area and our friends at Avery Tree Experts were up for the challenge.

Tree trimming

We got a great deal from these guys and they did an excellent job. I spoke with them on Tuesday and they came and did the job on Wednesday – amazing! Now we have no limbs hanging over our driveway and nothing is stretching toward the roof of our house. We have also ridded our backyard of that awful broken tree from the storm. I feel a lot safer now from this tree, especially when it comes to major hurricanes, which have been a regular occurrence in New Jersey for us lately!

Tree trimming, trimmed treeTrimming branches on a treeTree stump, tree trimming

So you may be wondering, “why no DIY on this project?” Simply put: this job was just way too big for us. Not only do we not have the proper tools (chain saw, etc.) we also just could never reach these limbs and additionally, hauling everything away…not really sure how we would pull that off. This was definitely one for the professionals, and we have talked about this before, but I think it’s really important to realize when you can DIY and when you need to ask for help from the pros.

Do you know when to turn a project over to the pros or do you usually end up in over your head? Head over to our Facebook page or Tweet at us to let us know your DIY and home improvement dos and donts!

A Little Yard Work Never Hurt Anyone

It’s that time of year! Autumn/Fall/Harvest/whatever. It is quite possibly my favorite time of year. I enjoy the fall so much that I really don’t mind all the yard work. My Dad might have told you otherwise when I was 16, but hey, those were different times, man. You’ve gotten to know our yard, the vacant lot behind our house and the patches of grass that I keep mowing even though they aren’t mine. But I’m not complaining or anything. The small amount of maintenance needed on a yard like ours is well worth the effort.

Autumn leaves from the roof

The vacant lot still holds onto its remnants and debris from Hurricane Irene, and I think our yard absorbs a lot of the leaves that fall from the surviving trees back there. I think the end of summer and excess of leaves falling has taken its toll on our lawn. Both the front and back lawn have been looking patchy since we moved in. We also have a good bit of overgrowth in the form of weeds and ivy all over the place.
Spraying Ortho GroundClear
With the assistance of Lawn Ace’s Kevin Fidyk, we treated the ivy and weed patches with Ortho’s Groundclear.
Ortho GroundClear weed killer
It worked really well and cleared the areas except where the ivy was very dense and dark. Those patches cleared up after the second application.
Scotts E Z Seed
We also treated the baldest patches with Scotts E Z Seed before we got married and left for Mexico.When we got back, the patches were fairly full and healthy. Like magic. These were the areas we had heavily dropped the E Z Seed and had heavily watered. The rest of the lawn got a casual dusting followed by 2 days of rain. Those areas didn’t fair as well. If we have the time, I think we need to do a heavier spread across the entire lawn.
Tree pruning from the roof
The next task that needed tackling was tree pruning, so my Dad and I climbed up on the roof. Using a telescoping tree pruner that we bought at Lowe’s, we trimmed the branches that were jutting out over the roof and house. Not only did we get a lot done, but the view from up there was pretty cool. Maybe someday there will be a blog post about me building a secret roof deck. OK, probably not, but it was fun while it lasted.
Tree pruning big branch

Meanwhile, back on the ground… We had this one branch sticking out into the middle of the yard at eye level. You can see it in the photo above. We trimmed it and that really opened up our view of the backyard.

Backyard Tree Branch CutHopefully we’ve done enough work to keep our yard healthy through the winter, and if time allows we’ll put down some Fall/Winter fertilizer. New Jersey winters have always been unpredictable, and last year’s was a harsh one. We lived in an apartment and I felt like I was doing a lot of work. This could be an interesting next few months as we prepare for our first Winter in this home.