Trees might be an odd thing to class as upcycled. Have they been used, or are they a raw resource? I am including them in upcycling because I paid someone to cut the trees down. The trees played a role in the garden, they had a value, but once felled, I found another use for them, which has saved me a significant amount of money.
When we bought our house, it came with an additional wilderness garden. It was a lovely wild area, around 400m2, but overgrown. It wasn’t productive, lacked purpose, and many of the plants and trees weren’t of the best of health. My concept was to turn this area into an allotment, orchard and wild area for birds and hedgehogs. The master plan created room for all, in an attractive, useful, and environmentally friendly way. Lots of recycling and upcycling potential.
We would provide food for ourselves and be able to recycle food waste with compost. Much of my outside living cool upcycling comes from making useful and nice-looking stuff for this area.
Some of the trees we had to remove for safety and health reasons. Others were to open-up spaces – we had two large mature trees growing within centimetres of each other, and one was touching our neighbour’s fence and hanging over their house. One of these was a badly pruned birch and had to go. The neighbour’s love us for removing this! We had a nice looking sycamore in the middle of the plot. It cast shadow over the entire site cutting out the potential for any new trees – it also had a split crown and life would be short. To enable the master plan to develop, it sadly had to go. Finally, there was a row of horrendous Leylandii that had grown out of control, were too close to the house, and cast shadow. No-one was sad to see these go. We also trimmed a lovely old yew and a few other trees that were growing high or over our neighbours.
To many, this might seem like destruction. However, I have a great love for trees and grow many from seeds and then plant them out wild — Guerilla Tree Planting. This felling at home was carefully managed, and we sought permission from the local council before commencing any work with a trained tree surgeon.
Once the old trees were felled, we planted an orchard (apparently you need 13 trees to be an orchard) with apples (Cox, Bramley, Braeburn), cherry (stella, wild), pear (conference), plum (Victoria and other), two gingko’s, five paper birch, English oak, horse chestnut, three hazelnuts, green gage, peach, nectarine and an apricot. In our main garden we planted a fig tree, wild cherry, pomegranate and Indian bean tree. In total I removed six sick or badly positioned trees and planted 28 in their place. I hope people can excuse me.
To mark the occasion, we buried a time capsule under the Cox Pippin.
This careful land management presented the upcycling opportunity. Not just space to do stuff, but also logs and wood. Ripe for some raised beds for vegetables! A wonderful resource for many cool upcycled projects.