Sunday, January 17, 2010

Katy Prairie vs the Piney Woods

So we moved from Katy to northwest Houston. I spend this afternoon dealing with a problem that I haven't had to deal with since I was a teenager tasked with taking care of the lawn. It's this.

This swath of Houston was Piney Woods 40 years ago, and unlike many subdivisions built today they didn't clear-cut the forest when they built these houses circa 1975. They cut the trees down to pour the slab and driveway and roads and left the rest of the trees intact. There are numerous very tall, mature pine trees in the yard.

After 15 years on the Katy Prairie I forgot what a pain in the ass pine trees are. Gutters are like magnets to pine straw and it took me hours to clean them out. I then mounted a metal rake to a pool extension pole so I could rake the roof off from the ground instead of climbing the roof. (When I was 16 I did that. Now? I'd wind up with numerous broken bones.)

I look forward to March, when the heavy yellow pollen drops so thick that you need a broom to sweep it off your driveway.

As an aside, the money effect is interesting. The new 'hood is... well, it's not River Oaks, but it's a quantum leap from the old "my neighbors have chickens" neighborhood. This is the neighborhood where HP upper management lives. My son's new friends all have motorized scooters. They just don't ride bikes. None of them. What's up with that? My son took it surprisingly well when I told him to forget about a motor scooter.


This Blog Is Not Here said...

Just taught a unit on this actually. Naturally, there should have been some raging ass forest fires that took everything out. So, the pine trees in the piney woods would have to "overcompensate" by dispersing tons of pollen after everything else in the food chain had been knocked down a few notches. Now we stop those forest fires. Pine trees are ironically becoming less populace in the great piney woods.
Pine trees are really good at resisting forest fires compared to other trees. Stop the fires and the trees still keep behaving pollen wise like they were trying to repopulate the earth. Also, oak etc. grows like crazy since we don't let 'em burn any more.

Ahumado said...

Hey Lou, if it's not too revealing could you give a clue about what neighborhood you're in. I lived in Ponderosa Forest off of 1960 when I was going to high school in the 70's. I now live in the general vicinity of Klein Collins HS in Spring. Just curious. Later, Chuck

Chris said...

I have a row of about 5-6 evergreen trees in my small back yard that are beginning to tower over my house. I can't clean the back gutter myself because my wife won't let me climb on the roof, and my back yard has a very steep slope. My neighbor runs a wholesale nursery and he planted the types of evergreens that barely shed any needles.

My wife noticed a squirrel running along the gutter the other day and I realized I need someone to cut the trees back about 5 feet from the house, but it will cost about $800 for someone to do this. $800 for cutting tree branches!

I just mention all of this to say one thing: I hate those f**king trees!

Lou Minatti said...

Ahumado, you know where the HP campus is? I can throw a rock and hit a parking garage. :-)

Well, not that close. But we're the subdivision next to it.

Chris, have you tried one of those pole saws? I bought one at Home Depot a few years back and they work pretty well, just tedious. Better than spending $800, I think.

Ahumado said...

Do I ever know where HP is. Worked for Compaq (pre-HP) for about 6 years. I like that area over there. But yeah, the loblollies are a pita.