Trees, tree removal, and trees that fall down all on their own…


This last year has been very tree-centric. Last fall, I had a big chainsaw party, at which three of my closest guy friends showed up and cut down most of the “weed-trees” that had been allowed to grow along my fence line — in exchange for beer and a big pan of homemade lasagna. It opened up the yard a lot, and let a lot more light in — paving the way for an actual lawn that grew actual grass (as opposed to creeping charlie). The one tree that they couldn’t handle, though, was the enormous 100-year old box elder with a definite lean to it. The tree that’s had me a bit worried since I bought the duplex. I always hoped that it would fall down slowly, in small chunks, or at least just fall directly to the ground in the direction that it was leaning…

I had a tree-removal guy out earlier in the year, and got pricing on removing the big tree, in addition to some branches that were touching the roof of the house (also out of reach for my chainsawing friends). I went through with the trimming part of his bid — it was only $425. However, he was quoting about $2000 to remove the big old tree. I just couldn’t stomach coughing up that kind of cash for a tree that was still alive. He estimated that it would probably live another good 10 years or so, so I figured that I would simply keep that in mind as a future expense. I knew that that giant old tree in my backyard would eventually come down on its own if I didn’t have it cut down, and I was hoping that it would be in chunks. Small chunks that didn’t fall on top of anyone, ideally.

Well, I looked outside my kitchen window this morning and saw that like 80% of the old tree was on the ground… which I guess saved me some $$ vs. having tree guy cut it down for me. The funny (or frightening) thing was that there wasn’t a storm last night, or even any measurable amount of wind. I didn’t hear it, even with the windows open, and neither did any of my neighbors! My theory: a squirrel was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and his additional 1.2 pounds of weight was just more than the main branch could handle. He was ultimately the straw that broke the camel’s back. Poor squirrel, he must be quite traumatized. 🙂

I took pictures and mailed them to my friends. Thankfully, the chainsaw crew is willing to cut up the wood that’s on the ground. There’s a 12-foot “stump” that’s still standing, I’m thinking that that can just stay on as a monument for the foreseeable future. I guess I just saved about $2000, minus some food and beer. The only casualties look to be the firepit, which may have a bent leg or two, an old bench, and the phone line (which the qwest guy was bringing back up when I left for work — thankfully free of charge). It could have been a lot worse — the tree could have come down in a storm, and been flung right into the house…


3 thoughts on “Trees, tree removal, and trees that fall down all on their own…

  1. I have two of those big box elders on my property line (quite near one side of the house). They are very fragile, I had an 18 inch diameter branch come down in a mild storm so I got a quote for removal (similar price to yours, +50% more if I wanted the second one done at the same time). So I’m following the same strategy you are, hopefully they will miss everything when they come down.

  2. Nice! Glad to hear it didn’t cause significant harm to life, property, or pocketbook. The city is going to be cutting down a tree on my boulevard that looks like I could push it over…but I wouldn’t, because it would probably take out my porch and entryway. Take that, city. Serves you right for planting a wussy tree crookedly on the boulevard.

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