Friday, May 27, 2005


Yesterday, I arrived home to the sight of a tree trimming crew. My neighbor decided after 40 years that this was the year his (quite healthy, mind you) white oak tree was going to fall over onto his house. He apparently hired the first company that knocked on his door and said "Hi, we cut down trees, would you like one removed?" He said yes.

Somewhere in the process, he agreed to get rid of not 1, but 2 trees. He was going to get rid of a 3rd when his son (god bless him) insisted that he didn't. One of the trees was just barely on his property line (or I would have tied myself to it to prevent its demise). The other was in his backyard, but one which blocked the view of his house from ours. These trees were no small things. I'm guessing 40-50 feet tall. When I arrived home, there was a pile of mulch over 5 feet tall in front of my neighbor's house. They decided to use a chipper without having a bin to dump it in. On top of that, they made the mistake of doing this while my wife was home. And they dumped the leaves and mulch on the area between our homes where my wife bought 5,000 pounds (no exaggeration) of dirt to fill in and flatten the ground, and where she has been carefully seeding and watering the area to grow grass for the last 4-6 weeks. They of course, killed it all. They said they would replace the soil and the seed, but there's no way to replace the 4-6 good weeks of rain, or our water bill.

Then, mistake #2. They asked my wife if she wanted some of the tree for firewood. Now, we haven't made one single fire since we moved, but we have a very large wood pile accumulating... and yet she said yes. Then she made the mistake of leaving. By the time I came home, there was a 50 foot tree cut into full 250lb. logs filling our back yard. Not exactly fire wood, since it took at least 2 people to barely push and roll EACH of them on the ground. They gave us the ENTIRE tree, because they didn't want to haul it away. Of course, our neighbor was also upset because they charged him a removal fee and since they weren't removing it, he didn't want to pay... but the crew insisted. My wife came home and yelled the crew into submission, as this was clearly not firewood and not at all what she asked for, or what was discussed. As I collapsed last night from my migraine headache to the sound of chainsaws cutting apart the wood in our backyard, I dreamed of the new tree or bush or hedge we could plant in its place. Anything to stop the sun from reflecting off the now bright house next door and into my pounding eyes!

It's funny. You move to a nice woodsy area, then chop all the trees down. It sickens me. The neighbor mentioned that the previous owners to our house knocked down all our trees, and said it was too bad he couldn't knock down the trees in the other neighbor's yard as well. In fact, his neighbor on the other side also bought into this door-to-door tree "trimming" service and will be cutting down one of his trees as well. Shame! So, I had 4 months to admire how nice it was not to need fences at every section of our homes, like everyone does in California... and now I suddenly have visions of the billions of ways we can put something up to keep our neighbors out. I don't mind no fences, but natural barriers and woodsy feelings were nice. I don't really want to stare into his aluminum siding anymore. Not only an annoyance, but highly disappointing. Some people just don't have a lot of sense.


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