Saturday, September 1, 2012

What To Do With Our Sidewalk Strip?

Okay, so I'm waaaaaay behind on updating the so much has happened...where to start...
Since I've managed to screw up my back again I'll not be doing any manual labor for a couple of days soo....

Help Us Do Something Useful With Our Sidewalk Strip.

The picture below it the only one I could find that shows the ugly, ugly sidewalk strip in front
our house.
The PO apparently just dumped the leftover concrete there when he did the foundation.
It was ugly, cracked and weed choked.

I decided that since I needed to do a dump run I would create as much crap as possible to fill the borrowed truck.
Of course with no pics, but I broke up all the concrete and removed it along with a bunch of dirt.

The sidewalk area now looks like this.
The red arrows are where the concrete used to be.
Wow, now we have a lot more room out front for plants and what not.

One immediate issue we have is how to get the drip watering to the other parts of the new planting beds. I need to tunnel under the sidewalk to run lines I guess?
Anybody have any ideas on how best to do this?

Oak tree!!!
In a nice bit of synchronicity my neighbor has a good sized oak tree that he doesn't want anymore.
Well, he still wants it but its growing too close to his foundation and needs to remove it before it
starts to cause damage.

Picture of Neighbors Oak tree from our Bathroom
That's a 6' high fence and the tree is probably 3' above that.
What we would really, really, love to do is move this tree to our sidewalk strip nearest the driveway.
The tree has kinda a cool crook in it that we could line up with the strip.

We have no idea how to go about doing this in a way that will maximize the chances of the tree surviving...

Does anybody have any ideas on how to best go about transplanting this tree?
Our only idea so far is to wait until November so it won't get trampled on Halloween.

Any help would be much appreciated.


Jim said...

To get PVC under your sidewalk use a pokey stick of some sort (short rebar is great) and a full-blast garden hose. Enough water will come out to make poking the rebar, then the PVC under the sidewalk easy, but it isn't enough water to cause the sidewalk to collapse. Used this technique twice in El Cerrito, though we had less sandy soil than you do in Alameda. If you do want to do a proper sidewalk cut it will cost you some bank, most cities want an "encroachment" permit; you'll also have to orange cone and yellow tape the hell out of it during the cut/fill process to disuade lawyers.

Jessamyn said...

Tree transplantation:

Wait until it goes dormant this autumn. Cut the biggest root ball you can possibly manage - the more roots you get, the more likely the tree will survive. Dig a hole twice the size of the root ball, and mix soil amendments in before you backfill. Note the height of the soil to the trunk before you dig it out, and make sure you get it right back at that level when you replant. You want the soil firm enough that it won't sink, but not packed so tight the roots can't get through it. Water like crazy after you backfill, and add any necessary soil after it settles. Mulch, and water every day for two or three weeks (this is another good reason to wait for fall, rain will help a lot!) and make sure it gets watered or rained on at least a couple times a week after that.

Finally, be aware that putting in a tree like an oak with (eventually) strong and sizable roots will probably play merry hell with your concrete someday, raising and cracking the walks. You might want to rethink all this and buy a nice flowering tree instead!

p.s. I had to try like 6 times to get a captcha I could actually read. Kinda not worth trying to comment when it gets this ridiculous!