Tuesday, April 27, 2010

If Joyce Kilmer Had a Bad Day

As a kid, I always enjoyed the comic strip “B.C.” My favorite character was Wiley, a crotchety old guy with a wooden leg who also managed the baseball team. (Yes, baseball in caveman days. It’s a comic.)

Wiley was also the poet of the strip, often composing amusing ditties with a message at the end. In one strip, as he is sitting under a tree, he begins writing “I THINK that I shall never see A poem lovely as a …”

And then a tree limb falls off and hits him on the head. Wiley gets up and storms off, saying, “The world will have to wait for Joyce Kilmer.”

We had our own tree situation at our house. A tree at the edge of our backyard died. My wife and I think it was due to a bolt of lightning. Whatever the cause, it was rotting slowly. A few months ago, pieces started falling off. Each time there was a storm, we’d look out in the backyard the next day and see limbs on the ground. A safety issue waiting to happen. We assumed that one day tree would come down on its own. We have a large yard, so we knew it wouldn’t hit the house. Still, the house wasn’t our main concern. We worried about limbs hitting our kids.

We told our boys not to play close to the tree and they obeyed us as we searched for a solution. The cost of removing a tree was enormous, though we could cut it if we didn’t have the stump ground. The longer we waited, though, the more chance that we knew the tree might come down on its own. In addition, with the tree being dead, the issues surrounding removing it safely would also likely increase the cost.

A few weeks ago, another storm took out another limb from our tree, smashing a part of our back fence with it. At that point, my wife and I knew we could no longer search for a deal. One of the contractors we’d gotten a quote from came back with a lower price. We took it.

They came out a few days later and went to work on our tree. First, they removed part of our fence that hadn’t been destroyed. Then they cut off a major side limb that grew out of the base and now reached heights over half the size of the tree.

Next was the most difficult part. One of the men climbed halfway up the tree and tied a rope around the trunk, then moved down and began cutting under it. The men on the ground eventually pulled the top of the tree down to the ground, where it shattered on impact. From there, the men cut down the rest of the tree and then cut it up.

Later that afternoon, they left. The tree was gone. Sawdust remained. We were happy to have it done.

And our backyard was safe again.


Karen Roderick said...

My goodness, was it a big tree? I have visions of it being enormous! Phew, good job it's gone although kind of sad; just a stump as a reminder.

Jody Hedlund said...

Whew! What a job. We've had to cut several trees over the past years. Safety gets to be a concern, but then having a huge dead tree in the landscape is a spoiler too! :-)