On the Fence about Pepper Tree
I have a gorgeous pepper tree in the middle of my big old back yard. It is beautifully pruned into lacy weeping branches and it covers the yard practically from side to side- 60 feet! The trunk is so big around two people cannot reach around it. It cools the whole yard, including the chicken coop. There are ferns and other shade loving plants under its canopy.
The tree is probably 45 years old now. It's planted in the center of a lawn so it gets lots of water. The other two peppers that were planted at the same time are dead and gone now. This one has a weepy spot about four feet up, a hollow spot around the other side of the trunk and a major branch as big around as a Volkswagen that creaks in the breeze, scaring the beejeesus out of me. It lost a major limb two years ago- a limb that cost $1400 to cut up and haul away. It costs well over a thousand bucks to thin it out, which we do about once every three or four years.
I cannot imagine my yard without it. It makes the place look lush and beautiful year round. I think it is nearing the end of its life, though, and it is so expensive to prune. What would you do?