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No More Accolades


By AndrewR


One of the finest sights in the spring is a flowering cherry in flower. In 1987, I planted one in the garden, prunus ‘Accolade’, and it lived up to its name. In March, it covered itself in pink flowers, and was even known to stop the traffic

Even after being cut back twice, it was still managing to put on a reasonable display, but it was starting to show is age. All that spring exuberance takes its toll, and the life of a flowering cherry is reckoned to be thirty to forty years. After twenty-five, I had to make a decision – should I have it cut back and delay the inevitable, or should I bite the bullet and do something now?

The area underneath was beginning to suffer from the shade. The house next door wasn’t built when I planted the tree, and it was simply too large now for the space available – it would have to go

Flowering cherries are often grated on to wild cherry rootstock, which have buttress roots growing above the soil as they grow older

And suck all the goodness out of the soil as they spread outwards

So I started clearing everything else out too, saving what I want to keep, and removing Japanese anemones (really Andrew?), trying to remove Japanese anemones, the only things that really thrived underneath

A last look at the old tree in the September sunshine

Enter the men with the chain saws and stump grinder

And it’s gone. The trunk and the largest branches go to someone who does wood turning. The medium branches go to a neighbour with a log fire, the chipped wood goes to a friend for the paths on her allotment

And I’ve got a new area to play with

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Sad as it is to see a loved tree go, it great to have a new good size area to plan and plant. I look forward to seeing what you do with the space.

6 Sep, 2013


It's sad but necessary, and it's an exciting new beginning for your new area! Enjoy!

7 Sep, 2013


As others say sad But you keep your memories forever and move on.

7 Sep, 2013


I can why the tree stopped traffic, it was beautiful. you have a great open space to plot and plan with now which is exciting. can't wait to see what you will do with the space.

7 Sep, 2013


Lovely as it was,Andrew,I agree it was probably time to go.. what a lovely space,and plenty of time to plan what you will plant there..
Would I be right in thinking your neighbours will appreciate more light,or were they sorry to see it go ?

7 Sep, 2013


Bloomer - I think that had mixed thoughts about it, but they have said how much more light they are getting now that it has gone.

As for my plans, watch this space! But don't hold your breath as it will take some time. The soil is very impoverished (and heavy clay over by the fence), so I want to do a lot of improvement and feeding before planting anything.

7 Sep, 2013


I have the patience to wait,Andrew ,and I'm sure it will
be beautiful,eventually..I agree,it's much more important to get the groundwork done first..good luck,it will be very satisfying when you are ready to plant :o)

7 Sep, 2013


What a mixed emotional time. Sadness to see the old tree go, but excitement in looking forward to the new plans for the area.
I wish everyone who planted trees were as thoughtful as you...our neighbours have a massive cherry standing over 50 feet, which overshadows our garden :(
I'll be looking out for the pictures to see how your plans progress.

7 Sep, 2013


Very interesting blog Andrew.......this year guess what we planted? yes an Accolade, unlike yours we shall never live that long to see it taken down!!
I shall be most interested to see how your new space evolves......I think ours is in the wrong position lol

7 Sep, 2013


Wow what a tree, absolutely gorgeous. Such a shame to see it go, but necessary. What a huge space you've got to play with now. Have fun.

7 Sep, 2013


It certainly is a beautiful tree but as you say - better to have done it now that to delay.
We will all be waiting to see what you decide to do. Good that others are making use of what's left.

8 Sep, 2013


I remember this stunning tree when you posted a photo of it in the Spring - what a great time you'll have planting up the empty area - and well done for re-cycling the tree to others to benefit from ... :o)

8 Sep, 2013


I'm sorry to hear it's gone Andrew but I suppose it was time. Ours died altogether this year so it's coming down later this month. It will be lovely to see what gems you decide to plant in this great space you have ended up with. It's amazing how much room these trees take up isn't it.

9 Sep, 2013


Needs must, when the devil rides, but you'll already have assessed what fabulous new plants you'll be planting & I'm sure you'll continue to amaze us with your new 'canvas' & we look forward to another masterpiece.
Best of luck, Andrew!

9 Sep, 2013


Shame it had to go, but kudos on being responsible and not leaving it until it became a menace! Did you keep the logs? How "drained" is the soil around the roots? will it need much to bring it back into good condition?

10 Sep, 2013

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