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Removing trees in yard for better visuals


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I'm not some big environmentalist nor am I indifferent to the destruction of the earth, but I'm having two, old dead trees removed from my backyard tomorrow and my very first thought was "what a fabulous opportunity, now I'll have the ability to view more of the sky" but I also maybe want to plant a couple trees somewhere to offset the loss.

Has anyone ever PURPOSELY removed bushes and trees at home purely for astronomy purposes?

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If they are dead then not too much harm in taking them down. Perhaps stack the logs somewhere to form habitat for insects and animals if you have the space?

I’ve not had to take trees down for Astro, though have removed some small ones for other reasons. I don’t like doing it, but your idea of offsetting by planting new ones sound like a good plan 👍

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No,

Although one of next doors trees has a branch that’s getting a little close to Polaris. Maybe in a couple of years it’ll be an issue. If so it might (just that one branch) might get a little mid-night pruning :)

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Yes. Besides totally obscuring the west and a chunk of zenith, two massive Leylandii were also sucking up water and ruining the lawn.

Unfortunately I underestimated how much they blocked a nasty sideways shining LED street lamp, resulting in me spending £££ on an extra high new rear fence and a year wrangling with the council until a light shield was fitted. So be careful. 😉

 

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Just now, ScouseSpaceCadet said:

two massive Leylandii

They aren’t really trees are they 😉😉.

We have some huge ones at the bottom of the garden, which I offered to top for the neighbours but they said they liked them as they were! They do shield some of the low down LP from Heathrow which is a bonus.

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I have no hesitation in taking down some of the sycamore trees we have here because they spread like weeds.  Removing some of them will improve my view to the East a little, but will also reduce the huge number of leaves dropped into a pond which should make it more pleasant for newts and frogs.  Other sycamores I might remove just because they snuff out other trees that don't grow so fast.  There is an ash tree that blocks my view slightly to the south east, but that will stay unless it starts to show signs of ash dieback in which case I won't have any choice but to have it taken down before it becomes unsafe.

I've planted plenty of hedging and a couple of dozen trees since we bought this place though, so overall I have no guilt about it.

James

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, Stu said:

They aren’t really trees are they 😉😉.

We have some huge ones at the bottom of the garden, which I offered to top for the neighbours but they said they liked them as they were! They do shield some of the low down LP from Heathrow which is a bonus.

I feel vindicated Stu thanks. The planet isn't ruined. The grass is growing nicely and many more flowering plants have gone in since. The insects prefer it I think. The garden's like an invertebrate Jurassic Park!

Edited by ScouseSpaceCadet
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Not directly for Astro, and I haven't completely removed them but I did take about 2.5-3.0m off the top of some rather overgrown pittisporum trees that the previous owner of our house had let get way too big.

The bonus was that it let loads more daylight into the garden and improved my Astro view to the NE dramatically but like @ScouseSpaceCadet it now let's in stray light from a streetlight ☹️.

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Removed some massive Leylandii from the bottom of my garden.  One excuse is they blocked my view of Saturn and Jupiter. :D  

Careful though.  I became known as the local tree murderer and discourager of wild birds.  This despite everyone else already taking down their trees over the past 10yrs and mine were the only ones left.  It seems without knowing it, I was the designated tree keeper for the whole street.    Neighbours eh?  :D  

 

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A neighbour taking down 2 x house sized trees was what encouraged me to get a scope. Decent views from NE to SW now, houses and streetlights permitting.

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Given the UKs apparently changing weather patterns where we can have very long periods of rain making the ground soft as well as storms with quite high winds, even during what might historically have been more settled periods when trees are in leaf, I'm surprised that more people aren't getting a little anxious about large trees growing close to houses.  Particularly, perhaps, large trees in one person's garden growing within falling distance of someone else's house.

James

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Where I live in my village is on the southern edge, ideal as it’s also away from the church , who thinks it’s a great idea to light up the whole ruddy village with their lights! Luckily the flats I live in blocks out this light and other street lights too.

On the garden edge which boarders the field, the farmer, don’t know why, cut down most of the small trees along that edge, opening up lower views to the south,  I’m not grumbling, as the garden I view from is slightly sunken, so I benefit from his act of v———ism.

chaz

 

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A nearby city has an ordinance protecting trees with trunks greater than 19 inches in diameter at 4.5 feet off the ground from being cut down without council approval even if dead.  Generally, they require them to be moved if they impede construction.  This can cost $125,000 to $250,000 per tree and take weeks of preparation.

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9 minutes ago, Louis D said:

A nearby city has an ordinance protecting trees with trunks greater than 19 inches in diameter at 4.5 feet off the ground from being cut down without council approval even if dead.  Generally, they require them to be moved if they impede construction.  This can cost $125,000 to $250,000 per tree and take weeks of preparation.

The unintended consequence being that lots of trees get cut down as soon as they reach 18" in diameter?

James

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1 hour ago, JamesF said:

The unintended consequence being that lots of trees get cut down as soon as they reach 18" in diameter?

James

Actually, they're quickly cut down by crews of unregistered immigrants working for cash.  Grind the stump, and there's little evidence of what happened.

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It’s a good question- no I haven’t, but in the last 10 years, I’ve increasingly found that I have to choose the place in the garden in advance for setup of my scope, based on what I want to observe that night. There are some beautiful birch trees obstructing the 360 view I used to have. Lucky I have a 25 acre small farm just down the road with unobstructed views. It’s not quite as handy as stepping out the back door to the telescope though!

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On 03/06/2021 at 10:43, JamesF said:

Given the UKs apparently changing weather patterns where we can have very long periods of rain making the ground soft as well as storms with quite high winds, even during what might historically have been more settled periods when trees are in leaf, I'm surprised that more people aren't getting a little anxious about large trees growing close to houses.  Particularly, perhaps, large trees in one person's garden growing within falling distance of someone else's house.

James

I think you’ll find the houses are growing nearer the trees! Ruddy developers. With all these “pop-up” villages they’re all growing closer.

chaz

 

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Posted (edited)

My property had 3 trees on it when I purchased it. Two large oaks and one pine.

With what I planted then with the help of birds, there are now too many to count.

For the Mercury transit I cut down several oaks that were 30' tall, with trunks 16 to 20 inches in diameter. 

The planets now rise behind several Cyprus trees but those are staying!

This is the trees I have now. The property on the right is my 5 acres, on the left the fire departments 4 acres.

At one time mine looked just like the large open section. Just pasture.

20210605_061647.jpg

Edited by maw lod qan
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My neighbour has a tree on the border which is growing ever larger and blocking my view to the west quite considerably. I keep dropping hints to him about giving it a good pruning and he seems quite receptive to the idea, but no branch lopping yet...

I'll get him to pop round for a look through the eyepiece at a particularly interesting target just as it's about to dive behind the tree and see if the disappointment will spur him into action...

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Posted (edited)

I actually planted for astro purposes to block light intrusion from next doors spot lights.
A  run of hedge on boundary, a fence in and around the concrete observing pad and then hedge each of the L of the fence for 
asthetic and environmental reasons, more plants in garden is good.

I did have a large acer topped and crown reduced so I can see Polaris, but the tree needed attention anyway,
but it was not felled and would not have been if it was only for astronomy.

I am a big green flag waver environmentalist these days and I have more trees and plants in my garden than ever before

 

Edited by Alan White
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21 hours ago, chrisund123 said:

My neighbour has a tree on the border which is growing ever larger and blocking my view to the west quite considerably. I keep dropping hints to him about giving it a good pruning and he seems quite receptive to the idea, but no branch lopping yet...

I'll get him to pop round for a look through the eyepiece at a particularly interesting target just as it's about to dive behind the tree and see if the disappointment will spur him into action...

A neighbour of my sister had some tall trees at the back of her house beyond the end of the garden which overshadowed her garden. They were growing on a patch of land alongside a road. She applied and got permission from the council to reduce the trees by a third so she hired a contractor to carry out the work. However when the work was done she found that there had been a misunderstanding over what 'reducing by a third' meant. She thought it meant that the height would be reduced by one third but the council and therefore the contractor meant that the crown would be thinned by about a third. So the trees are still the same height but some branches had been removed so that the density of the crown was reduced.

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