Posts Tagged 'dead trees'

Triumph O’er the Treetops

The Big Red Lift

The Big Red Lift – like a big insect. How will it ever FIT?

They came! They sawed! They cutdown! The Organic Tree Care crew came today!!!! Like the commercials I hear for having junk hauled away: I pointed, they cut. The dead branches are gone gone gone! Let the winter winds blow! I fear no hurricanes for the dead branches are not with me. Clear skies above my deck and no easy critter access to my attic! Can you tell I’m just a wee bit excited? I bet now we will have the calmest hurricane season on record, and the least snow and ice during the winter. No branches will fall anywhere in town, thanks to my preventative measures. You’re welcome 🙂

First job avoid the wires

First job – avoid the wires. Success!

When we last checked in with our heroine (that would be me) she was frustrated by not hearing back from her justifiably busy and preoccupied new neighbor and disgusted with the need for a permit to cut down her own tree and she had settled on an end run: remove the tree dead branch by dead branch. The tree man came and gave a revised estimate over the weekend. It turned out to be less than the prior estimate although I’d been expecting more. I’d asked to have more branches cleared than just the ones on the dying tree. Thinking about it I expect it’s much more work to take down an entire bifurcated tree than to just do pruning, and the new quote reflected that. That was the second joy (the first of course being that I needed no permission for this end run). Paul (the tree man) promised to get it done in the coming week.

Coffee break

I always offer coffee/water to contractors. You don’t see the cups because they are drinking the coffee.

On Tuesday I came home and found a voice mail from my new neighbor – Mari Sue (NOT Mary Lou *grin*). She apologized for taking so long to get back, she was in agreement about the tree and we should get together and talk. It was late and I didn’t respond that night. The next day Paul called and said they’d come on Thursday to shear my shrubbery. That reminded me to return Mari Sue’s call. I told her that I was making her life easier – she didn’t need to do anything, decide anything, the tree was mine and I was going to have every dead branch removed the next day. She said that was wonderful, she and her landscaper had looked at the tree and agreed that it should/could come down. I said that come the spring we could revisit the situation, but that for the time being I was taking care of the obvious problems and leaving us some privacy thanks to the branches that were still alive. We ended the call happily agreeing to meet for coffee soon.

Cut back the driveway tree

2nd job- cut back the tree along the driveway. Most of it is done already in this pic.

Thursday the 3 men showed up. First we played musical cars. I’d left my cars in the street but they needed more room than just my driveway. So I moved my cars further down the block and they backed their trucks up to my property. Then they unloaded The Lift. This machine is SO COOL. It’s like a robot. The arborist controlled it with a remote control box he held in his hands. I looked at it at the end of my driveway and couldn’t quite envision what it would do. It looked huge.

Fitting the lift down the driveway

Look at how SMALL it is now with its legs and neck pulled in. It fits!

While all the maneuvering was going on my next-door neighbor Larry came out. He was naturally curious as to what was happening, especially as one of the feet of The Lift was now resting on his property. Larry is a totally laid-back person. We have a fine relationship and always grant each other’s contractors whatever access is needed across property lines. I knew he wouldn’t care if I was trimming his tree. Indeed, he didn’t care and was horrified to see the cantilevered branch which of course had come from his tree. He offered to help pay for the work. I thanked him and said that all I needed from him was what I already had – his permission to let the workmen cross the property line as needed and that he was totally comfortable with me trimming his tree. Legally once a tree or its parts cross a property line, the property owner can remove whatever is on/overhanging the property. I told him that he owed me nothing, he was not legally responsible, and that I never expected him (or Mari Sue) to contribute to this effort. It’s good to have neighbors with whom you get along. Let’s not mention Mari Sue’s predecessors.

Adjusting the Lift legs

Had to include this – look at how he can adjust each leg and adjust the angle of the foot – see his little remote control there on the right

We had 3 areas that needed work and I didn’t see how that machine would get there unless it had a long neck like a giraffe and could stretch all the way to the back property line. I’d asked to have the maple tree along the driveway (Larry’s tree) trimmed back from the house. Several branches were brushing the roof and others were against the side. In addition that tree was the source of the cantilevered branch on my garage. I wanted that and its siblings, which were lurking over the garage, removed. The third area was the impetus for all this work – the dead tree trunk between the 2 garages.

the cantilevered branch

The Infamous Cantilevered Branch

I’ve mentioned before about the power and phone lines being above ground. There is a thick power line stretching from the southern corner of my property across the driveway to the house. I watched the men start lifting the cage up and up and wondered how they were going to miss the wire. The neck of the lift moves from side to side, up and down. It was completely fascinating to watch. I was riveted. (SEE – I TOLD you I already practice some of the 7 habits of mindful people!!) I watched as they moved that neck slowly side to side. They got it to the far side of the wire and began going up. The neck actually brushed against the wire, and a bulging piece of the neck actually held the wire momentarily. But it all moved so slowly and they slid it just a bit more to the side and the wire was free and the cage was going up and then extending forward to do the tree along the driveway.

goodbye cantilevered branch

Handing down the branch! Bye Bye!!!

They began trimming those branches and I went inside. I was nominally working from home. 🙂 Soon I felt this NEED to go see what they were doing. I’m glad I did. There was a slight misunderstanding of what I wanted and I walked out there just in time. The request was to trim back the branches from the house, but had been received as remove the branches over the driveway. I said that I was quite happy with what they’d removed so far – the house was clear – but they could leave the higher branches. Those provide a lot of shade and relief in the summer. I didn’t want them gone, just trimmed back.

clearing the garage roof

Clearing the rest of the garage roof

Next came my cantilevered branch on the garage roof. To do that they had to move the lift further down the driveway. Watching him place the legs one at a time and adjust the placement of the feet was extremely interesting. I couldn’t believe how much smaller the lift now looked down the driveway. It was tucked in between the house, the tree and the garage. It fit and it worked. An amazing machine. The balancing branch was easy-peasy to remove: he grabbed hold of it and handed it down. Had there not been any other tree work needed, that is exactly what I’d have done. I’d have gone up on my step ladder and nudged it to slide further to the ground. Which is probably why it was a good idea to let the professionals handle it. *grin* I jumped up and down and cheered when they removed that branch. I’m not sure if they were amused or thought I was a crazy lady but they smiled back.

time to tackle the dead tree

Time to tackle the dead tree – have at it!

Next he began cutting the overhanging branches. One of the men got to do all the fun stuff – moving the cage, cutting the branches. The other two had to retrieve and drag the branches down the driveway to the truck. There was a lot of ground-cage communication. They also did a lot of checking and verification with me. By this time I’d dropped any pretense that I was working and was out there watching, taking pictures, cheering, and pointing. 🙂 What a GREAT morning! They cleared all of the overhanging branches and even removed some small dead ones that had already fallen and were snagged in the ivy.

going going

going… going….

FINALLY it was time to get to the dead tree. Only half the tree was dead but the other half is not all that healthy. I definitely wanted to be watching during this part because I wanted them to keep whatever could be maintained. That tree provides a great deal of privacy between our deck (especially the hot tub) and the upper floors of Mari Sue’s house. Since I’d been keeping my deck umbrellas closed all season because of fear of falling branches, I’d noticed exactly how little privacy we will have if that tree goes away completely. In the summer the deck umbrellas will provide privacy now that I can open them. In the winter it’s usually dark when we are in the tub so the lack of leaves is not as big a problem.

another one bites the dust

Another one bites the dust. These were all BIG branches

It really took him very little time to take down the dead trunk. The lower thicker branches had to come off in several pieces, but that top part came down in one piece. *laughing* In hindsight I realize that it looked a lot like a denuded Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree. 🙂

And then it was gone. Gone Gone Gone. It was wonderful. I looked up and saw blue sky, unimpeded by dead spindly branches. The garage was clear of branches. I walked about, checking the property, making sure that everything I wanted gone was gone.

GONE! a cleared garage

Look at that – a CLEARED garage. Any branch you see is alive

I noticed a dead branch hanging down behind my garage, caught on the telephone lines running down the property lines. I really couldn’t tell over whose property the branch was hanging, but I figured none of us needed a big dead branch hanging on the wires. Yes, PSEG and AT&T (or maybe Verizon – who knows these days, right?) are supposed to keep those wires clear but is has been YEARS since I’ve seen them come around checking, much less coming to warn me they’d be doing work back there. That is why we keep a generator and a Hogwart’s Owl standing by on the ready. 🙂

the house is cleared as well

Both house and garage unencumbered yet we still have shade

Sure enough the arborist freed that branch. Then he cut down some dead branches overhanging Larry’s property. *smile* It was the least we could do since he’d been dropping all of the dead branches onto Larry’s back yard. I told them they could drop them on my yard but they said Larry’s was better. His back yard is all ivy in that corner. My yard consists of stepping stones and plants. The men explained that the ivy was a much better cushion for the branches and would decrease any splintering and breakage. They cleaned both yards once all the branches were down.

take it all away

Take it all away!

It’s done. I feel so GOOD! I can stop worrying about dead branches smashing into my deck and/or house and find something else to worry about. *grin* The crew was great. I can definitely recommend Mickiewicz Arbor Experts, LLC in Jackson, NJ. They were on time, they were pleasant, helpful, polite, patient, professional and left both properties clean and clear. Let it blow, let it snow, let it froze!

Time for My End Run

bifurcated tree 1

Dead, unsightly, I want them GONE!

It’s been 3 months now that I’ve been trying to get permission from my neighbors to remove the tree behind my garage. Half of the tree is dead. There are still some live branches on parts of it. When I got estimates back in JUNE all the experts suggested removing the entire tree. To do THAT I need a permit from the township and THEY required permission from my neighbors. I couldn’t get permission from my neighbor because she was selling the house at the end of July and didn’t want to risk any damage. She told me to take it up with the new owners. August came and there was no sign of new owners. FINALLY last week, August 28, I saw a moving van.

more dead branches

Still MORE dead branches – some already broken off

I went over to say hello and mention the tree. I know my timing was terrible, but hurricane season is coming and I want those branches GONE. I wasn’t completely awful. *smile* I brought a hanging plant (red begonias) and I had written down on paper my name, my husband’s name, our address and our home phone. I went to say hello and welcome to the neighborhood and please look at the dead tree and come by for a cocktail or coffee. My new neighbor, Mary Lou, seemed to be completely frazzled. I suspected my effort had just failed. It’s now a week later. I’d hoped that maybe we’d see signs of life there again Labor Day weekend but no, no one anywhere in sight.

branches over hanging garage

I should make my neighbor pay for this part – these are HIS tree

Enough is enough. The heck with them and the township. I called Paul the tree man back. I said – we don’t need a permit to take branches overhanging my property, correct? He said that was correct. I said – come and get them. I am sure you are correct and the whole tree should come down but that’s not happening any time soon, and the wind and rain season IS soon. At one point it appeared we’d get a larger part of Hurricane Dorian but thank goodness that is NOT happening. It now looks as if we’ll get rain and tropical force winds at the most. That can still cause a bit of damage, especially if things get caught in the power lines. Our town dates back to pre-Revolutionary war times so our power lines are all ABOVE ground. I told Paul that besides the “dead” tree I’d also like the cantilevered branch removed from my garage. He made some comment about little overhanging branches won’t damage the roof. I said, noooooo, this branch is easily 20 feet long and balanced on the point of the garage. He agreed to include that. 🙂 Next week. He’s due next week. YAY!!!!!

bifurcated tree trunk

The source of my troubles

To be fair, the tree is not 100% dead. It is bifurcated, and one trunk is mostly healthy. The other trunk is mostly dead. I suspect that the tree people are correct and ultimately the whole tree will need to come down. In the meantime, I am becoming quite content with my approach. Some of those live branches are still giving us privacy from the neighbors behind us. I like that privacy. I know that taking it down a branch or 3 at a time is the most expensive way to deal with it. I suspect the cost effective approach is to either leave it be until it comes down on its own (would that really be cost effective????) or get the various permissions to remove it entirely. I keep imagining large branches being whipped off and crashing into either my deck or my breakfast room bay window. Or large branches coated with ice and snow breaking away with enough of a drop to damage the garage roof. Since Paul agreed to come and remove all the branches I want removed, I’m going to convince myself that I have selected the over-all best approach. *grin* I’m there. That was easy! In the meantime, I continue to collect the dead branches that reach the ground. I’m hoping Paul will take them, too.
piles of dead branches

Balancing Act

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I have a dead tree behind my garage. It sits right on the property line, between my garage and the garage behind us. I got an estimate for taking it down. In my town I need a permit to have someone take down a dead tree (even one that is a hazard to property). It turns out that because it is on the property line, I need the permission of the other landowner. I left a note saying the tree was dead, I’d contracted to have it removed, I wasn’t asking for money. I got a voice mail asking me to please NOT remove the tree until after July 31. She was selling the house and closing was July 31 and please contact the new owners after that date. She didn’t want to risk something going “wrong”. I said fine, let’s hope the tree cooperates with that timing. So I’ve been watching the tree for over a month, picking up branches after rain storms.
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It seems that I’ve been watching the wrong tree. I looked out my window the other day and notice that my next-door neighbor’s tree had a cracked branch, and it was resting on my garage and was still partially attached to the tree. We’ve had a LOT of summer rain storms, with wind and driving rain. Between the weather and the squirrels running all over creation, the branch cracked completely. It has begun to shift. The dead leaves end used to rest on my garage roof facing my house. Somewhere in the last few days, when the branch cracked through, it is now balanced on the point of my garage roof. 🙂 I’m watching it. I moved my car out of my driveway. We approach the garage through the side door. You see – until I can get the NEW neighbors to move in and agree to let me pay for taking down a dead tree that threatens their NEW property, there is NO point in my contacting my tree service to say “Oh by the way, I have MORE deadness to remove”.
IMG_1603

You have NO idea how tempted I am to try to knock that branch down. 🙂 I think it would be so satisfying. In the meantime… I wait to meet the new neighbors.
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