Diary of a mad homeowner

The trials and tribulations of fixing up a house filled with character but not much else

House HistoryMitigationPhotosTrees

Tree killer

That’s right, I’m at it again. I’m a tree killer.

Chris and I have been talking about taking down the trees in the “back yard” and though he was against it at first, he now sees the inherent danger in having 11 such large trees right up against the deck and house. This year has been dangerously dry and once again, fire danger is on everyone’s mind. Granted, I know it’s the whim of the wind and errant embers that decide whose house stays and whose is reduced to rubble but as a good friend of mine frequently says, “Always tie up your camel.”

Now, these aren’t little stick trees like down in the Slightly Unenchanted Forest. They were big trees complete with lots of slash and the potential to damage the hell out of the fence and house. The logistics of a job like this was a real problem. The trees have to be dropped in a safe manner, the wood has to be stacked and accessible while it dries out and the slash has be gotten rid of. Chris and I both agreed … no more chipping of slash. I still have big piles from the SUF mitigation and lucky for me I have a regular guy who comes by and loads up on chips for his dog runs. With the logistics set and since Chris needed some extra change for Christmas and I needed to finally reduce my worry load, it was time to cut down the trees.

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Now I’ve been sick about cutting down these trees. I felt really bad. They’ve been there for more than 40 years and have weathered everything Mother Nature threw at them. Squirrels used them for jungle gyms and birds used them to keep an eye out for single-minded cats under the bird feeders.

As the first tree was about to come down, I had to leave. I headed down to Conifer to pick up new outdoor light fixtures and get away from the sound that 40-foot trees make when their bark splits and they crash to the ground.

The backyard isn’t very big although the entire property is just under two acres. One of the best things about this house is that the fence comes apart just by removing a few bolts. Removing the fence made it so much easier to drop the trees without any damage. No kidding, I could do away with a fence in about a hour but I like to make it difficult for hooved creatures to walk around on my deck in the middle of the night like they did in Pine Junction. It’s a serenity thing.

In no time Chris had taken down half the trees and a funny thing began to happen. Not only could I see farther but now the back of the house can be seen.

Chris is a tree wrangler and prefers to do the work himself but this job required an extra person. Now he had asked The Hillbilly to come up and help but he would have been in danger from the both of us since I want to hit him with a shovel when he opens his mouth. I have no faith in a man who can’t remember how to get to an address or can’t find it on a map or doesn’t know how to use MapQuest.

Good thing my son Paul stepped in and handled all the slash and ended up with some possible side jobs with Chris.

Some trees ended up staying and others that we hadn’t paid any attention to were taken down. What I lost in trees I gained in view. Turns out there are still A LOT of trees on this property and by taking down the dangerous giants, you can now see other better looking trees on the edge of the property. Now the windows showcase my huge and beautiful aspen tree down by the property line. Brilliant sunrises and reflections of orange and red sunsets can now be see whereas before they were just a backdrop for the trees that blocked the sun and keep the morning light off the back of the house.

Now, I have no complaints of the amount of money this mitigation has cost me but I would be living in a palace if I had spent the money indoors that I’ve spent outdoors!

I have to say I’m glad we finally did this. The only down side is we discovered trees behind the fence and next to the SUF that need thinned out. I was glad when the fence went back up. I couldn’t see the work that waits for spring to come around.

It’s never ending … mitigation … or in my case being a tree killer.

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