A Slice of Life
Over the years, many of the trees on our property have grown larger than we ever expected them to. It was getting so bad, that sometimes I had to duck under the oak tree limbs, over our driveway, to get to my van. Our yard man has been trying to keep them trimmed the best he could, but he is getting older and doesn’t get up and down the ladder like he used to.
The other day, a tree service guy knocked on our door and wanted to know if he could give me an estimate on trimming our trees. The estimate he gave me was a little high, and I told him I would think about it. That afternoon he was back with a revised estimate. I told him I was still thinking about it, and he dropped the price to where I couldn’t refuse the deal. When I asked when they would plan to do the job, he said, “My crew is just down the street, finishing up another job, and we can start right now.” I asked him if he was sure he had time to do the job then, and he said, “Yes, it won’t take us that long.”
I learned that our tree trimming crew was just one of three teams that this company had working in our neighborhood that day. Our crew consisted of a cutter and three young helpers. The plan was to thin the branches of each tree, and raise the canopy of each tree, to give the trees a more uniform and healthier look. I don’t have to duck under the oak tree limbs now to get to my van.
The crew worked well together. As the cutter would lop off a branch, one of the young helpers would drag the branch over to their flat-bed trailer, where another young helper would cut the branch into short sections for placement in the trailer. I couldn’t believe how fast and efficient the job went. There were several chainsaws at work, most of the time (lots of noise).
All together, we had some seventeen trees (front and back) to be trimmed. The work progressed steadily, with only a couple short breaks. About halfway through the process, wood bore damage and trunk rot was found in one of the trees in the back. It was recommended that the tree be cut down before it got any weaker, and possibly fell on my model airplane “Hanger.”
This created more work for our crew, which they had not planned for, and seemed to cause tension among the workers. I had commented earlier, that it looked like they might not be able to get all this work done before dark. Now it looked like they were going to need a larger trailer to carry all the cuttings. When I mentioned the need for a larger trailer to one of the young workers, he laughed and said, “Yea, bigger is right, and one with a tilt bed would be nice!”
The next time I looked out front, the four of them were unloading the trailer. “What was that all about?” I wondered. “Maybe they wanted to put the big tree logs on the bottom or something?” About this time, the boss came driving up and there was a heated discussion while the unloading continued. When they completed unloading the trailer, the cutter got in his van and drove off with the trailer! That left all the cuttings laying, spread out, all over my driveway, parkway and the street. Now the three young helpers got orders to get everything picked up and stacked neatly along the parkway.
The boss was still fuming when he informed me that he had to lay-off the cutter (I didn’t ask why). He was sorry, but now he would have to go to East Orlando, the next morning, to get his big truck and clean up the mess that he had been left with. I told him I was sorry to hear about his employee problem, but that I needed access to my driveway,
To my surprise, the next morning two of our resident squirrels were having a field day in that brush pile. They would scurry around in the pile of oak limbs, until they found an acorn. Then they would run (with their prize in their mouth) looking for the “Perfect” spot in our front yard, burry it, and pack down the dirt with their front paws. Then it was back to the brush pile, to look for another tasty acorn. I told DiVoran, “They must really enjoy the easy pickins’, since they don’t have to climb the tree each time they go back to look for another fresh acorn.”
This YouTube video will give you an idea of what the squirrel action was like.
The brush pile finally got cleaned up and all is back to normal around the house. The trees look better and we have a much better view of our back area from our back porch. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how long it takes our trees to put out new growth heavy enough to require trimming again. So goes life!