Shortly after I moved to river city I was given the title of Chief Tree Hugger. A republican tree hugger you say? Yep. I believe that how we treat creation is indicative of what we think of our Creator. Besides, there are a ton of other benefits that any self-respecting conservative would be hard-pressed to refute, if they were truly a conservative.
Well, for all the, possibly, hundreds of trees I have planted in my 41 years I have never been responsible for cutting one down...until this week. You see, when we bought "the pink house" across the street behind us (now green) we also received a massive soft maple tree with it. This old tree was probably 5' across and 70' tall with three massive main branches that dwarf most trees lining main street. Its age was showing with decay in its extremities and near main branch connections. One day while working inside the pink house the wind picked up and a chunk fell out while I was standing just a few feet away. At that time I decided to have an arborist do some pruning. That was expensive enough. The price to take it down didn't seem to warrant its removal. Besides....I kinda liked this tree.....our woodpeckers loved it and it was where we spotted the pileated woodpecker and turkey roosting one time.
The big tree on the right of the former pink house
But this past summer, on the day we were celebrating my daughter's birthday, with little wind blowing, another large limb (small compared to most on the tree) dropped perfectly between our neighbors' porch and car. He was unnerved. I figured it was time for it to go. The next drop would have landed on top of my barn....and insurance is rarely enough. Now, only a third of the tree was actually on my property. A third was on the neighbors' and another third was the city's-but they wanted nothing to do with it. The neighbor's landlord and I are splitting the bill.
Clean-up from the summer's drop
So, the tree cutters came and started early Monday morning. Thankfully I had several meetings that day which took me away from the window I could look directly out of and see the massacre. When I got home it was dark and with the exception of lots of sawdust blowing around I couldn't detect the change until the morning. There's a big hole across the street that needs a tree in it.