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Time for changes

We usually associate spring cleaning with shampooing the carpets, cleaning the windows and downsizing the closets. This year, spring cleaning at my house will be associated with the yard.

When we purchased the house 30 years ago, we inherited a row of lovely Badlands junipers that provided a natural division between the houses. Every year, my husband, Duane, pruned them into Christmas-tree shapes that I always felt were eye-appealing.

I have pictures of my kids sitting on the ranch-style fence that lined the trees. Hundreds of sparrows used the trees as shelter from the wicked winds of the winter. Cats hid under the trees looking to snatch a bird. The aroma was wonderful.

Fast forward 30 years, and the trees soar 15 feet into the air and you can’t see the fence. The trees also have spread into the neighbor’s property.

Planted too close together, the trees provide a formidable hedge. Actually, I think the hedge provided just enough of a wind break that our house was spared when the 2009 tornado came through the neighborhood. The roof lifted up, but wasn’t blown apart. Houses to the south and north of our property collapsed into piles of timber.

So it’s with sadness that I’ve decided the trees have to go. I shouldn’t expect Duane to climb a 10-foot ladder to prune the tops.

But with the decision to move forward, I’m excited to figure out what to plant in their place.

I also suspect the neighbors will thank us.