When you type trimming the tree the first vision in your head is the Xmas tree being decorated with lights, baubles, tinsel, etc. The second kind of trimming the tree is more dangerous and apparently very expensive. Make sense – I imagine trimming really tall trees would be dangerous.

I grew up with a dad who worked at the lumber mill part time. My poor daddy did whatever he could to supplement his measly income and keep us fed. His brother had another money making idea and decided they should have a saw mill and cut trees on their property to make a lot of money. With just the two of them they were not able to get a lot done. Either way, I learned a lot about the dangers of tree cutting.

Daddy was always extra careful because his friend was killed by a falling tree. He was an expert tree cutter and had taken all the precautions, but the tree had a dead spot no one could know about, the tree split and crushed him to death. That was a tragedy and it haunted daddy for a long time.

So here I am looking at my two oak trees in the backyard:

One white oak and one red oak

When we first moved in here years ago, my first thought was, OMG why are there two giant trees in the tiny corner of my lot? But, there were so many other things to deal with I put it in the back of my head. I had a tree surgeon come look at it a couple of years ago and he said they were “fine”. They were healthy and he did not see anything that looked dangerous. He only eyeballed it – it was a free estimate after all.

During the pandemic lockdown I watched the trees look like they were going to break off limbs for months. Every time we had a wind advisory or a tornado watch I lost sleep. After this past winter, the top of one tree broke off and lodged in the branches of the tree:


I got a referral from a good friend for another tree service and he allowed me to send photos. He does not do free estimates anymore but he was willing to just eyeball it. He called that branch a widow maker. Ominous, no? According to Wikipedia “In forestry, a widowmaker or fool killer is a detached or broken limb or tree top. The name indicates that such objects can kill forest workers by falling on them.”

I may be no lumberjack or woodsman but I knew that broken limb could fly into either of my neighbor’s houses or my own. It’s been like that for months and last week’s windstorm made sleeping difficult as I listened for the crash of the limb. So, today, Kenny is coming over for a paid estimate and we are going to figure out what to do with the trees.

My heart is torn. I love flora and fauna. If we cut the trees down, we lose shade, squirrels will lose homes, woodpeckers will have less to peck and we get less oxygen. If I leave the trees up and they fall on one of my neighbors’ houses it will be a huge headache and god knows how much $ to fix them. Will insurance cover it? Probably not. If we are “lucky” and it falls on OUR house alone, insurance will cover it but it will take forever to settle. How do I know? One of my friends is dealing with that right now. It is now going on 2 months with no check from insurance because EVERYTHING is slow right now with the pandemic, the war on Ukraine, staff issues, life, etc. I don’t need that kind of stress added to my life right now or in the near future.

Of course I will listen to his advice. He may say to just cut off all the limbs and let it grow new ones. He may say just to cut the dead limbs and leave it be. We shall see. I know I want the widow maker out, and he said there is a water spout. . .wtf? Isn’t that a tornado on water? No, it is instead, according to the internet it is , “…a form of shoot that originates above ground, on the tree’s trunk or branches at the location of latent bud tissues. Watersprouts are very likely to arise in response to pruning or damage to the tree, such as branches broken off in storms.” Okay then.

“water spout”

I am learning more about trees than I thought I would. We had a downpour today with flash flood warnings and the like so my tree guy had his equipment get stuck at the job before he was to come do my estimate. I rescheduled and we shall see what he says on Sunday! Wish me luck.

Published by bridgey1967

Loyal. Funny. Sensitive. Loving.

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