According to our neighbors, there used to be a small stand of aspen trees in the sideyard near our patio. Only one was still standing when we moved in and it wasn't faring too well. You can see it on the left side of the photo below.
Aspens like higher altitudes than Boulder's 5500 feet and it isn't a good idea to plant them here. When we consulted with a tree expert we learned that this aspen was still alive, but definitely failing. Given how tall it is and how close to our neighbor's property, I was concerned about losing it in a storm and having it fall into our neighbor's wall or house.
But the final straw was when we realized that the aspen's roots were causing our flagstone patio to heave up and make the floor uneven. We'll most likely be replacing our deck and patio sometime soon and removing the tree and its roots would be a good first step to having a level patio.
So yesterday a tree cutter came and did his work. It was a bit scary at first. It's always a bit disconcerting to see someone up in a tree with a chainsaw! I'm so glad it wasn't Ben up there.
But once he had the top off, it just became a matter of cleaning up.
While Ben didn't go the dangerous high work, he did plenty of cleanup.
It was a bit bittersweet to take down a living tree, but I sure do like how clean and open the space looks now that the tree is gone.
And now we feel like we can proceed with developing plans for a new patio and deck.
Sometimes you've just got to get rid of something that isn't working anymore to make space for something new and more promising.