The freak October snowstorm here in the Northeast left me with half a full-grown sugar maple that crashed into the top of a lovely crabapple tree and the other half of the sugar maple still standing.
There are several trees I'd like to take down in the yard, but the sugar maple wasn't really high up on my radar until I finally got around to examining the wound where half of it ripped off, close to the ground.
There was a large amount of brown, fibrous material inside the tree. I can only guess that it was a type of moss that was growing there. Perhaps there was a crotch in the tree trunk where the rainwater collected and it had begun to rot undetected, causing the limb to break off in the storm.
So I became a little worried that the tree could be blown down by the next windy snowstorm, perhaps even hitting the house. It would be a close call if it fell in the wrong direction. And of course there was the part of the tree that had already come down. I hadn't planned on dealing with that til spring, or until I came into some more money.
But I called a local guy just to get a price. He told me $500, which I actually thought was pretty reasonable. It wouldn't include them hauling the wood away or chipping it, just cutting it up for me.
Then I called the guy my neighbors recommended, an illegal alien from Guatemala. Maybe he's not supposed to be here, but I don't care. I needed to get the tree taken care of and he was willing to do it for $25 an hour. So I hired him. His English was terrible but we figured it out. I actually went online to an English to Spanish translator and wrote down some key phrases I wanted to tell him, like: "Be careful," and "Try not to hit the other trees."
He told me he understands English much better than he can speak it.
So in four hours he got the maple down. He worked alone, which made me incredibly nervous, especially as I watched him shinny up the tree and use the chain saw from about 15 feet up.
He cut that all up, cut up the other branch that was in the crab and also got a much smaller branch off the roof of my tool shed. There was more I would have loved to have him do, but I didn't want to spend much more right now. $100 I can more or less absorb as an expense, but that's it.
If I get a decent tax refund, I may call him back, but I also planned for the tax refund to help pay for my mid-winter oil tank fill-up. And provide with me with a greater cushion of savings just for ongoing bills. So I have to make my spending choices very, very carefully.
I thanked my neighbor again for giving me his name. He asked me not to refer him to anyone else becus he needs him to do a lot of work at his place and he doesn't want to share him. Hmmm.
My neighbor put on a huge new addition to his house and now has 4 fireplaces. He said if I want to get rid of the wood, he'll take it. I'd like to see if i can sell it on Craig's List next fall first, I think. I did sell one batch of firewood once before. Everyone burns wood around here, it seems. I'm an oddball becus my house doesn't have a fireplace.
Without that huge sugar maple in back now, I think I will actually have a bit of a view looking out in the back yard. It's all still woods, but you'll be able to see further into the forest. Also, there is a group of three younger evergreens, maybe 8 feet high, that should receive quite a bit more sunlight now, so I hope they thrive.
A good friend of mine does accounting for a small garden nursery in town. She told me he's got a number of small trees and stuff he wants to get rid of. She mentioned a crab apple. So I could possibly replace the one I'll have to take down. I have to call him and see what else he has, and whether he'd deliver to my house, becus it's huge. I'm not sure I could handle it myself.
Money Well Spent!
December 17th, 2011 at 09:58 am