The A very long time ago now, there was a song, "Tie a yellow ribbon 'round the old oak tree". I don't remember who popularized it but everyone knew it and there were a lot of "plays" on the idea of tying a particular colour of ribbon around a tree. This is not that.
The second time we saw this house, before buying it, I noticed a couple of things that I brought to the realtor's attention. One was that there was no mail box. The other was this particular tree and it's two brothers behind it. Generally speaking I like trees. I love the green, I love that it's a living thing, I love that it provides home and perch for birds and bugs and lizards and squirrels, I love the shade it provides on a hot day and well. yes I am a fan. But I was not a huge fan of these trees.
For one thing, that peelie looking bark didn't look healthy. "The poor thing looks like it's molting. Is that normal?" I believe I asked. And further there were hardly any leaves. Just a few paltry ones here and there. There were many branches that had no leaves at all and this just doesn't speak to me of a healthy, hearty foliage. I pointed that out to him as well. Then, too, was the fact that these enormously tall trees' branches had grown up into the power lines. That is never a good thing. I absolutely did not want to be responsible for us or anyone else to lose power.
I mentioned my concerns, as I said, to the realtor guy. He assured me that yes the peelie looking bark was normal for this particular tree, that the amount of leaves was also normal (not true by the way) and if we chose this house, I could call the power company to come out and trim the tree from around the powerlines. " They do it all the time", he assured me. "They are happy to do it." He had no opinion about the lack of mailbox.
It turned out that we did buy this house of course and those two piddly items were not deal-breakers. In fact we didn't even bring it up during price negotiations. Tim put up a mailbox right away (and then when an out of control car knocked it two a few months later put up a second one) and the tree just went on the back burner.
After the hurricane this past September though we thought about the tree again. Fortunately it did not knock down any power lines. There was tree debris for days from all the trees on our property and around us of course, but especially from those trees. (our post-hurricane power outage turned out to be from power lines down on the road behind us. Ironically also from trees that hadn't been trimmed). Interestingly, losing so many branches made it all the more apparent how entwined the tree was with the power lines. We fretted awhile and then I went online to try to contact the power company to "have them trim the tree" as I was told they would be happy to do.
I could not find a contact link or any information regarding power lines and tree trimming anywhere on their website. I called the general number (which was hard to find by the way) and their phone message was long, confusing, maddening and sadly unhelpful. I gave up. Tim tried. He gave up. Shortly thereafter, as it so happened, a gentleman came by asking if we were interested in having his company take down any trees. Seems he had been working next door and spied our problem trees. He and Tim talked and the decision was made. Trees were to come down.
It was fascinating to watch the process. And the trees came down surprisingly fast. They had all the safety equipment which always makes me feel better. Cherry pickers to go up high and trim carefully around the powerlines and then they followed up by cutting off some of the larger outlier branches. Then another fellow with picks on his books and a strap around his body shinnied up the tree with a chain saw and with a lot of noise and sawdust in the air made short work of the trees one by one leaving only the merest of stumps behind.
Our heros! They did a great job, they did it quickly and they tidied up nicely afterward. We were suitably impressed.
Yes, I like trees as much or perhaps even more than the average person, but these trees had to go. From this point forward if there is a power outage anywhere near us, don't look at us. Not Our Fault!
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.