Yard cleanup: reclaiming our driveway!

Reclaiming our driveway!

Whether you just bought a home or have lived there for years there are always things you want to change and/or fix. It could be as simple as finding the time to trim up those rose bushes, or re-landscaping the backyard. One of ours has been our driveway. When you first enter our yard you are greeted by a view of a few dead trees by the fence, and some small trees starting to encroach on the road. Naturally, there are nice things to see too…. but, I only notice the bad things. This week we fixed that!

Step 1: Raking the leaves

We really enjoy the oak trees up near our house. They provide shade, beauty, shelter for our chickens, and make the place feel special. However, when fall arrives I’m reminded exactly how many leaves an oak tree has! They quickly consume our driveway, vanishing it under their concealing layers.

That is actually how this project started. I looked out over the driveway and thought “I need to rake so I can see where I am supposed to drive!”. So our yard cleanup started. Of course, once the leaves were out of the way I started looking at those dead trees and encroaching branches and decided, this week I do something about it!

Our driveway before cleanup with problems highlighted.
Our driveway before cleanup. Red shows encroaching trees, orange dead trees, and black is a rotting stump.

Step 2: Removing the encroachers

Since we moved here I have felled a lot of trees. It still makes me a little sad to take down a tree before it’s time. This week was no different. There were two little trees, only an inch or two in diameter, that you basically had to weave around the branches of in order to make it through our driveway. One of them was even cute in our opinions, but I took it out anyway.

Looking at the larger trees I also spotted some problem branches that would rub against larger vehicles that came down the drive. With a roar of the chainsaw, they came down too. The driveway was now open and already looking a bit better. Except for those dead trees…

Step 3: Culling the dead

While I love the look and feel that living trees bring to a place. Seeing a bunch of dead ones doesn’t do much for me. Having them be one of the first things you see when you get to my place, that does just bothers me. I am fairly sure that many people wouldn’t even notice some of these trees, but to me they needed to go.

Thankfully, in this case, the culprits were only three small to medium sized trees that were easy to fell and cleanup. The hardest part was hauling the logs back to my woodpile where they started next years would stack.

That only left one large rotten stump. I had cut all the other trees stumps down close to ground level so they would not be noticeable. When I approached this old stump I was planning on trying to do the same. As I started my first cut though the stump moved quite a bit under the chainsaws bite. I put the chainsaw down and a few tugs later pulled the whole stump out of the ground. It didn’t even leave a big whole!

The end result

This week’s yard cleanup was a success! Our driveway is now looking much nicer. With the leaves picked up, the drive clear, and the scenery improved we are very happy with the result. Now, when people approach our home, we don’t have to hope they don’t look around!

Driveway after cleanup.
Our driveway after cleaning it up.

4 comments / Add your comment below

    1. It is a fair bit of work. Of course, we’re not only maintaining the property but playing catch up still since the place was empty for years. Things pile up a bit over that time :). The work is really rewarding though. Also, smaller yards are quite a bit easier…

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