On Tuesday, August 30th, I was making preparations for my wife’s birthday party celebration when we both heard a ground-shaking THUD. That’s a sound we’ve come to know quite well in our heavily-treed neighborhood. Well, one of the oak trees situated on the corner of our lot had come crashing down. Thankfully, it fell far short of the house and also missed the power lines.

I can’t say I was surprised by the event. Maybe two years ago (or was it three?), that particular oak and another one close-by began shedding bark, a clear sign they were dying. I’m guessing they were victims of the gypsy moth caterpillars that I wrote about previously (see here). We also have two pine trees on the property that are dying a slow death due to pine weevil infestation. I procrastinated about removing the 4 trees, because the cost is so astronomically expensive. But this was a wake-up call. I surely don’t need another tree crashing on the roof. Some of you may recall when a large limb from a neighbor’s tree came crashing down onto our roof in March 2017, doing substantial damage (see here). I’m getting a couple of estimates pronto and we’ll go from there. Whose idea was it to buy a house in this neighborhood, anyway?

The one good thing out of all of this is there’s less leaves to collect in November. We started out with 14 deciduous trees when we moved in 18 years ago, but we’ll be down to 7 after this operation is over. However, about 10 of the neighbors’ tall oaks lean over our property.

These expiring trees remind me that death is all around us in this fallen world. Praise God for the gift of eternal life in Jesus Christ!

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. – Psalm 23:4

25 thoughts on “Timber!

  1. Tree crashing on homes is BAD!!!
    When I first saw the picture you posted I thought a Flamingo 🦩 visited you 😂
    In all seriousness happy nothing was damaged and no one was hurt!!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. My son and his wife just bought a house on acreage with a pond and trees-he had one tree cut down -and said I’ll freak with the rest-Hauling it away etc… -needless to say he, his wife and 2 children have been very very busy!!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Our yard is heavily wooded and this is one of my fears. It would cost us over $20k to remove the number of trees we have that need to go. (Just around our house) and we definitely don’t have that! Good luck with yours!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Katherine. The tree removal guy is coming next Monday to give us an estimate and I imagine it will be in the $6-8K range for the four trees. There will still be a number of very large oaks (including several belonging to neighbors) that are leaning precariously over the yard and house.


  3. So glad it missed your house, Tom. Time to get the chainsaw out for clean up. In December 2000 we had an ice storm that caused many trees in the neighborhood to come crashing to the ground. The heavy ice on the trees was just too much for them. We had 5 large pine trees close to the house creaking as if they were ready to go and if there had been a large enough gust of wind, we may have had one or more land on our house. We were able to get out of the ice laden roads and spend some time at my Grandma’s home. It really was a miracle that no house in our neighborhood had a tree fall on it with all the trees that were down.

    I was able to get 16 trees cut down for $600. How times have changed. It took him 1 day to drop the trees, including a few very large pine trees. He did a little cutting as well. I cut the rest into small enough pieces to move around and another guy came and hauled the largest pieces off for the wood at no cost. I spent the rest of the winter that year cutting and burning wood. I check my trees pretty often to see if anything looks dangerous. I have a pine along the neighbor’s fence line that needs to come down but the only thing it could damage is a chain link fence. A good chainsaw and a rope should do the trick. Another winter job for me but nothing like I had in 2000. Far down in the front yard we have several tall, spindly pines that continue to make it through very windy storms. Our power line runs right through them. It is only a matter of time before one or more of them eventually fall.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Chris. Yup, I got out my small electric chainsaw and cleaned up everything but the big stump.
      The trees were a huge attraction when we bought the house, but they quickly turned into more of a “curse” than a blessing. The tree removal guy is coming next Monday to give us an estimate on the 4 mid-size trees and I’m guessing $5-7K. We had a huge oak in the front yard (six feet from the house with many heavy branches dangling over the roof) that cost $2K to remove 10 years ago.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is nice when you have the tools to do the job yourself as it costs so much for labor these days.
        I have a huge oak tree in the back that hangs over the house. It is very healthy and I hope it always stays that way. A good sized branch fell out of it the other day and my wife noticed it. The lower limbs of the tree “caught” it. All I needed was a pair of gloves to yank the thing down. Onto the burn pile it went. It was probably 10 feet long and 8-10 inches in diameter.
        I hope you get a lower estimate than you are expecting, but I know that it now costs a lot to get trees cut down here as well.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That was a pretty good sized branch. Glad there was no damage. Our neighbor’s “buddy with a chainsaw and pickup” is coming over tomorrow for an estimate and a professional tree removal service is coming next Monday. It will be interesting to see how wide the price disparity is.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thanks, Tom.

        The job I had done in 2000 was done by a “buddy with a chainsaw and pickup” who had no insurance. I took a real risk there but I watched him cut down the largest tree and had some confidence that he knew what he was doing after he landed it exactly where he wanted to.
        Having said that, I probably won’t ever let someone without insurance ever cut down large trees that close to my house again. Even though I saved a lot of money, there was the risk that a disaster wouldn’t be covered.
        I bet there is a pretty good disparity but the “buddy” probably doesn’t have insurance. I’d let him do it if the trees were far enough from the house that there could be no damage. If his price is close to the professional’s, I know you’d go with the pro. I know you’ll figure it out.
        I’ve gotten good enough with a chain saw in the past 20 years to save myself thousands of dollars but I do know my limitations. Sometimes, as Andy Griffith used to say to Aunt Bee, you just have to “call the man.”

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Thanks, Chris. Yup, whoever does it definitely needs to be insured. The “buddy with a pickup” came over today and gave me an estimate of $2K for the four trees. Much lower than expected. He says he’s insured. The professional service is coming Monday and I expect there estimate will be at least double.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, brother! It’s strange how we’ve removed a number of trees over the years, but my Leaf Campaign tarp totals haven’t decreased. I suspect that is due to aging and the fact that our neighbors’ very large overhanging oaks contribute most of the leaffall.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, as the years have gone by the trees have also grown = more leaves. I wonder how the gypsy moth caterpillar onslaught will affect the tarp total. It seemed like they ate about 1/3 of each leaf.

        Liked by 1 person

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