Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Knobby-Kneed Teepee

The trees cringe when they see me wielding the loppers and handsaw. They’ve been ruthlessly hacked back, limbed up or even cut down to make way for my gardening activities. Between the yews, Norway spruce, honeysuckle trees, and sweet gum, I’ve accumulated a very large pile of trimmings. I intended to burn it all in the fireplace this winter, but my enthusiasm for gathering, cutting and splitting firewood didn’t last long. Instead, we’re left with an embarrassing tangle of branches along the side of the house. If we had a chipper, I’d be in mulch heaven. Instead, I have the task of cutting the branches into 4 foot lengths, stuffing them in yard waste bags, and setting them on the curb for the city to recycle (compost).

It doesn’t all go to waste. I use the smaller branches as the “brown” in my own compost. I’ve saved a large stack of 3-foot long branches to use as plant stakes and hotdog/marshmallow sticks. My most creative reuse of the tree trimmings is the twiggy teepee I built in the front yard. I envisioned a rustic obelisk, but ended up with a somewhat drunken-looking cone that neighbor Tim christened the “Blair Witch Project.” It looks awkward now, but I think it will stop scaring the neighborhood children when it is dripping with sweet peas. (And maybe I’ll stop hearing those eerie noises at night.)

I’ve got plenty of branches left. Any other ideas on what I can do with them? (Besides craft stick figures to hang from the trees.)


Blogger Kristin said...

Way to get creative! And I love the Blair Witch Project reference. ;)

11:35 AM  
Blogger ben said...

How about rustic furniture; chairs, sofas, end tables, etc?

11:48 AM  
Blogger amanda said...

Candace Olson made a headboard with big branches sticking out of it on Divine Design. But, she is Canadian.

12:28 PM  
Anonymous Amy said...

Ahhh, honeysuckle. The devil's favorite plant. At least the @#$%^^@ kind that grows in Cincinnati. I used it to trellis my husband's hops last summer.

As for new ideas? Um....how about...um...I'm out. Sorry.

1:09 PM  
Blogger OldRoses said...

If you have a hidden corner in your (back)yard, you could create a brush pile for the birds to hide/nest in. I only suggest a hidden spot because a brush pile could be a bit unsightly for most people.

9:12 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...

Gee, too bad you can't rent a chipper for a day and keep the wood chips for yourself. Would it cost more than buying bags of wood chip mulch? Does Cincinnati chip the wood itself, and let the community help themselves? That's what our county does. It's first come, first serve and free to whoever can cart it away.

4:29 AM  
Blogger Kasmira said...

I'm thinking of cutting the leftover branches into shorter lengths and pounding them (upright) into the ground to edge the new beds. They'll eventually decompose, but I don't mind.

5:45 AM  
Blogger Earth Girl said...

I love your teepee and look forward to an "after" picture mid-summer.

11:18 AM  

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