18 August 2008

Monday Musings...
Well, it's the first day back to school for all the kids attending FWCS, and aside from hearing a lot of parents breathing that sigh of collective relief (yes, your lives are once again your own...lol), I can't think of a better way to begin the school year but with...a lesson in HOME OWNERSHIP 101.
And I apologize for all you chomping at the bit to see what my next "excellent adventure" might be, but I promise it'll be worth the wait.
Now I know you're all going "WTF?", but bear with me on this...
I thought I was going to have a "break" after replacing the bathroom ventilation fan this weekend (a study in reverse engineering and retrofitting if ever I saw one...but it WORKS perfectly and looks as good as new, so there), but it was just not to be. I had a bit of tree "pruning" to perform out back.
It's not so much "pruning" as it is tree limb removal...and we're talking more than just a mere "limb" here. We're talking a bloody TRUNK. It's an old tree, but a nice tree. And like all of us, it's showing it's age just a bit.
Seems one trunk of our tree that provides shade for our small backyard is trying it's damnedest to damage our garage.
And I've yet to ascertain why.
Lord knows I didn't do anything to that tree, other than place a new roof beneath it's shading limbs. And it was that tree whose limbs rubbed the old shingles on our roof to the point that the roof was "shedding", causing leaks inside (not a good thing, except if you prefer indoor "water features").
I've trimmed the tree whenever those branches scraped the roof, and in spite of my efforts, I've never held any grudge against that tree, nor wish it never grew there. I like that tree, and I would have thought it thought in kind.
Alas, our tree has other ideas.
In fact, it has taken to snapping, as in breaking the hell off and wanting to cause us some level of insurance claim damage VERY soon. I've watched that limb droop about TWO FEET over the past several weeks, and the other night, I actually heard a "crack" from it. And not a GOOD crack, either.
Now I've done what I could to remove as much weight from that limb as possible, but even I would never attempt to remove a limb with THAT circumference (think about the size of a human body thickness). I would need a cherry-picker, some block and tackle and a few more EXPERIENCED men with years of training to cover this baby.
Which brings me to having to call a tree service to come out and lop that whole thing off.
And then pray it doesn't kill the rest of the tree in the process.
But trees can be resilient, right?
Luckily, we have the resources to pay what it will cost to bring a crew out and get this taken care of, for we DO NOT want to weather any storms or even snow in the winter.
I know this limb WILL come down. It's been snapping in small increments over the past several weeks, as I could hear it.
But this morning was the kicker.
I went out to look at the tree (yeah, I'm a "checker", so sue me), and the branches I had cut back last week, were now dropping SO LOW, I had to bend over to get UNDER them. That was NOT good.
So, I pruned more branches off to relieve the strain, and noticed that this one branch was placing tension DIRECTLY AGAINST the back of the garage (lucky for us that garage has WOOD on it instead of vinyl or aluminum). I could see the scuff marks from the limb rubbing the wood, too. And I could NOT budge the limb away from the garage (good thing too, as it would probably come down, pinning me beneath it...and I can think of several MUCH BETTER ways to spend the last 6 days of my 55th year on this planet, believe you me).
I showed the missus the tree, and she agreed we need to act ASAP to head of potential damage to the garage AND the new roof (and the fence beneath it as well).
We have consensus!
I called a tree service and they're coming out pretty soon to take care of it...kind of "on site" (on the way to another job) removal, but they've got the gear to get it done, and they're a member of the BBB, so I shouldn't get taken for a ride (especially to the hospital after being whacked with a limb that has the weight of several horses).
And the missus is cool with getting it done TODAY...sweet!
The guys came promptly, did a fantastic job, cleaned it all up, and that was that.
I can definitely recommend APEX Tree Service. They're good people and do a bang up job. They do it quickly too, as you can see from the "before" and "after" pictures here.
Yeah...like I said...SWEET!
(And they got a free bag of cherry tomatoes as a lovely parting gift).
Just chalk it up to one of the vicissitudes of being a home OWNER.
Funny thing, we didn't have to worry about this living in a row home back in Philly. We usually only saw trees at the PARK or as a picture in books...LOL!
But over the years, I've come to respect trees.
I'm NOT a tree-HUGGER though, so let's make that much VERY clear.
I've climbed my share of trees, built a tree house or two, and swung from my share of branches growing up, and I kind of appreciated all that trees have provided for us all. Yeah, it sounds a bit sappy, but hey, it's not like we DEPEND on them for oxygen, furniture, toothpicks, maple syrup or other stuff, right?
Oh wait...we DO in fact.
So when any of our trees has a problem, we take care of it (and them).
And it just so happens to be one of those things that won't cure itself or even get better over time.
If anything, it gets worse, unless you act promptly and with expertise to rectify the problem.
Wow...imagine what could happen if the CITY acted in such a manner, eh?

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