Alrighty, so last August, we tore out the old dead lawn & half of the junipers that appeared to be eating our lawn, then put in a whole new lawn and some small & drought tolerant perennials. This year, phase II begins. Phase II includes removing the remainder of the junipers, trucking in more topsoil, and putting in some bigger and more expensive plants. Tomorrow I get started on the first part of phase II, removal. In case you haven’t had the fortune of coming across the inner workings of a 40 year old juniper bush, now’s your chance. They are a pile of spikes, confusion, and horrors. A branch will start going one way, and seemingly without reason, it will double back on itself. All of the cast off needles accumulate under and within the structure of the bush.
The spiky needles are SHARP. Really. They’ll embed themselves in bare skin given the chance. And there’s all sorts of creepy crawlies living in them. I’m not sure if it’s visible in the photos, but there’s a really cottony looking spider web around the base of this particular bush. There is a several inch deep litter of dead spiky needles waiting to attack. The best part of this is that every one of the junipers we’re removing is planted along either power or communications lines so pulling them out with a truck is a no-go. They get to be carefully dug up, roots severed with compound loppers and pried from the ground using a 6′ pry bar. Last year, the 6 (out of 9 total that got cut down to nothing) that I dug out took me a week’s worth of evenings, working until it was too dark to see. This batch looks like there will be more and I’ll be working on a much steeper slope. Wish me luck.