July 25/Backyard Progress

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This week I’ve started a battle…with the philodendron in the backyard. This is a view of the east side of the lot. These plants are straight out of a Jurassic Park jungle, and have probably been growing, untouched, (probably growing into our foundation) for a half century. 20140725-213834-77914769.jpg
“But they’re so pretty and jungle-like!” You might find yourself saying, as I did when we moved in. “They offer such great privacy!”

Well here we are one year later, and those suckers need to go. I posted about ripping out some intertwined roots last year, and here is an update. Yes, we did take about an 11 month break from this project. Days of back-breaking work later and it looks basically the same (minus about 2 feet of roots).

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Here’s my “plan” for removing these monstrosities:
1. Cut off leaves
2. Saw off trunk/vines
3. Dig up root ball
4. Dig up roots
5. Repeat for remaining dozen monstrosities

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Here is one “finished” after about three days of work. I felt like I pulled Medusa’s head out of the ground. There are still stubborn roots underneath, but I’m hoping they will die without the rootball.

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Oh, and I came face to face with one of the largest and scariest spiders I’ve ever seem while cutting down leaves. My research (why did I think a google image search would be good?) makes me think it’s a brown widow spider (not as poisonous as it’s black cousin). You’re welcome for not posting that picture!

If anyone has any suggestions for how to tackle this project, I (and my back) would be very grateful…

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