So now that we have a plan and a budget, it is finally time to get started. So, first I will use my weed trimmer/edger to clean up the edges of the grass. I will also use it to mark an edge where I want my retaining wall to be placed. This allows me to see some immediate progress. Seeing progress as you go will help to keep you interested in the project.
This is a progress picture before I began trimming but after I had edged and swept the sidewalk. Again, if you break the project down into short components, not only will it help you stay on track but you will see progress without feeling overwhelmed. I always like to clean up as I go, so that if I need to stop or am interrupted, I feel better about leaving the project.
Time for a little pruning and shaping. I have a vision in my mind of the outcome, so I will work at putting that into practice. If this is your first pruning, it may take you a little while to decide your desired result. Have a clear vision of what you plan to accomplish with the pruning. That will help you to stay on track with the shape.
This is the beginning of my pruning process. I began by using my sawsall to cut some of the larger branches off of the bottom, working up a little distance on the trunk. I want to give the grass under the tree a better opportunity to thrive. Note the sawsall, a few branches already on the ground, and the trash bag. As I said before, I like to clean up as I proceed. It really helps to keep the project manageable if I break it down into components.
The bottom of the tree has been trimmed up, and notice the difference just that little bit of trimming made to the front of the house. You can actually see the front door now!
This is now the shape of the tree from the garage side of the house. It has a better shape. There is still a small section at the top that needs to be trimmed. It has died, but I need another tool to reach that piece. One of the tools that I used for this portion was a hedge trimmer.
The tree has been shaped and with one small exception (which is the area that I was unable to reach with my 8 ft. ladder) it is ready for some lights. We are going to be doing the lights later, but we can move on to the next step. Trimming and shaping this tree has made a difference in the front. It is now possible to see the door and the shrub that is nearest the door! We can see progress and all of the trimmings have been bagged up for disposal.
The next step will be to begin building the retaining wall to add a little visual interest and separate the grass from the rock a little more distinctly.