The original goal was to block out views of the highway and maybe cut out some of the highway noise. We were successful on one point -- the view of the highway is almost completely blocked now. Or I should say, was blocked until last year.
That's when the semi-truck dealer north of us had to move their dealership in order for the rock quarry to expand. And, wouldn't you know the place that had been for sale south of us for years has become their new location. I never even knew it was zoned commercial.
So here are the "before" and "after" pictures. Before it was a pretty little 5-acre homestead, similar to ours with all these wonderful, huge, old oak trees. The red-tailed hawks nested there for years. And the trees shielded us from the view of the busy northbound exit for the airport road.
During the winter of 2005, they started cutting the trees down, and cut, and cut, and cut, until there was nothing left by spring. Then they moved the house and shed away, and most of last summer was spent grading out all of the grass and bringing in truckloads of fill so they could establish the site for the truck dealership. Of course it had to be huge because they have bunches of those big semi tractors and also a huge showroom/office/shop building where all the other work has to be done.
So now looking out our dining room window and sitting on the deck, all's we see is this barren wasteland of dirt where someday soon will be asphalt, trucks, and most likely annoying, 50-foot high halogen lights illuminating the entire dealership. Won't that be nice? NOT!!
So, today, I called up my friends at the Musser Forest Company in Pennsylvania. I've gotten trees and shrubs from them before and had pretty good luck with them. I ordered 5 of their fast growing Hybrid Poplars (may grow 4-8 feet per year!) and a fast growing Green Ash. In the center of the picture above is the drainfield for our septic system, but just beyond that is where I plan to put in the new trees. Hopefully, I can space them out well enough to screen out most of this view in the next several years.
And then just for good measure, I'll visit one of my local nurseries this spring and pick out a new weeping willow to put on the hillside. I love the huge weeping willow I have now and don't even mind picking up all the sticks too much, because it's the largest tree in my yard and grew so fast and huge and really blocks out the highway -- even in winter when there are no leaves on it. Hmmm . . . maybe I should also look for a cottonless cottonwood, cuz' they grow pretty fast too, right?