From Ann Marie Titsworth, Lot #2
The rainy season in Guanacaste can present many challenges to a landscape and garden; on Lot 2, our primary issues have been erosion and shade. Our landscape is defined by steep cuts and slopes paired with many large trees. Loss of valuable compost and dark, damp conditions under the canopy mean our garden beds and fruit plantings take little advantage of the free water that falls this time of year. We decided to do some “spring cleaning” of a few particular trees that were providing full shade in the rainy season over our bananas and gardens contrasted with no shade due to shedding their leaves in the dry season (the time when shade might be appreciated). Additionally, the trees were close to the house and contained valuable lumber to be used in our next carpentry project.
“High anxiety” is the best way to describe the mood around our house that morning, though Ticos are wonderful for joking in serious situations. Five very large trees were felled with the help of ropes, a winch, and five guys pulling with all their strength. Not a single “casualty” was suffered; every tree and plant that we had pointed out to the chainsaw operator was spared. That’s not to say we didn’t have close calls. One of the smaller trees, bent hard toward the house, nearly crushed our chicken coop before it was stopped and pulled in the other direction and a huge Laurel tree branch swiped the hat off of one of the crew member’s head.
I’ve had my fill of adrenaline for the year, thanks to this job. A word of advice for future forest homesite purchasers – cut down the big trees BEFORE you build your house and out-buildings.