Photo by Melissa Schollaert
Oh man, I’m actually writing this post. The title itself just kills me. For those of you who are longtime readers, you may have come to be quite familiar with this tree above, really the center of the backyard and the focal point of many of my backyard photoshoots and any backyard shots I’ve shared over the years.
Photo by Melissa Schollaert
For newer readers, I’d love to share a little history and why this grapefruit tree has been a big deal around our home and on the blog. Our house sits on a former citrus grove in Central Phoenix. There are still a few orange and grapefruit trees scattered around our neighborhood that have survived over the years. The lifespan of citrus trees is approximately 50 years. Ours has definitely lived beyond her sweet years since our home was built in 1952. I also commissioned a watercolor illustration of me in front of a grapefruit tree.
Last year a major branch fell off which left me in tears. I was heartbroken and wrote a post about it later that evening.
You can see the trunk has been hollowing itself out for a while and it makes me quite nervous being around it – I don’t think it’ll topple over but after 6 years of noticing it’s halfway deep when we first moved in, it made me a bit more concerned as the years have passed. My dad told us not to get rid of it just yet, wait it out and take some photos when I could and also until I could mentally let it go. I have a hard time with goodbyes, in life, with chapters, it’s just really hard for me – minus high school I was ready to leave at age 15.
We had our horticulturist Noelle from AZ Plant Lady come by at the end of summer and we talked about plans – and she agreed, it was time. First we thought we’d make a mound like I saw in Switzerland with florals but considering the incredibly wonderfully invasive Bermuda grass and the idea of Benjamin or our gardener mowing it, I just crack up laughing.
And then I think of how we’d actually keep anything on it alive it makes me say – ok, forget it. We’re still citrus tree owners, we planted a lemon, pink lemon, lime and cumquat so the citrus love is still there. I’m dying for the stone fruit trees though so maybe we’ll add a few in 2018.
There’s nothing like a new year to say, we’re finally going to do this. I’ll be sad to not see this view from the patio or walking the window –
But you can tell we’ve been preparing for this, already planting three additional trees around it – a Chinese elm that’s hidden behind the roses, and to the left an ash tree and in front a beautiful Chinese Pistache (I just realized we have Chinese plants haha, way to give props to my culture). The pistache should be changing color with the seasons but I don’t know what is going on right now, it usually turns a pretty orange/red before it falls but I think it’s been quite warm. The red oak tree to the far right has taken it’s cue to go into hibernation but it will only be for two months before the cute velvet baby leaves return in February.
Our yard will look quite spacious once the grapefruit tree is gone, a different view for sure. I’ll share the removal as we have already begun yesterday. It’s so sad. I don’t like to remove trees for any reason, but we have already removed a few due to tree fungus, age, and our sweet grapefruit tree fell in that category. I’ll give an update soon on the change of scenery in the backyard. Meanwhile, please pray for the safety of Benjamin with his chainsaw. He plans on tackling this entire thing by himself – actually, can you also pray for our chainsaw too because he broke the last one – he failed to explain how.
Thanks for reading this and being on the journey with me. xx