July 27, 2017
We had a fair bit of "tree drama" on Monday afternoon. The wicked storm that had moved in was making me a bit nervous with how much our trees were swaying and moving about in the wind. Our last big storm showed us that a few of our trees would eventually need to come down due to their advanced age and the proximity to our house. We had a company come out and cut down the most critical but they were so busy that day that they suggested the other 2 we were concerned about could wait for another 2 to 4 years. In the moment, I was totally trusting their judgment as tree experts but ended up booking for later this summer when they had openings to take them down before it got too dangerous. They went on their merry way that day, after reassuring me once more that the 2 other trees were not going to come down any time soon.
Fast forward a couple of weeks later to Monday afternoon. The rain and wind had started the night before and I felt so lucky to not have to go anywhere that day. I puttered, I wrote, I laundered, I cleaned, I organized, I napped and I hunkered down to enjoy the coziness of our home, while the storm howled and crashed about outside. I at one point decided to check to make sure our 2 wayward trees were still intact and ventured in to the art studio above our garage to take a peek outside. They were both dancing in the wind but there were no signs that any danger was imminent. Not long after however, my daughter asked "when did the tree come down?" I walked down the hall to the studio to see her peering out the window at the trees I had just checked and sure enough, one was laying across the first part of our driveway. You can see that in the picture above, with apologies for the window screen showing up in the shot. So thankful that it didn't fall towards the house. My car would have been quite damaged with the weight. It's strange we didn't hear anything, especially as I had some windows open to capture some of the cool air.
I quickly texted my dh to let him know that the entrance to the driveway was now blocked. He was in meetings and then left to come home early and actually didn't check his phone, so it was a bit of a shock for him to pull up. By then I had phoned our next door neighbor to ask him if he had any kind of equipment that could actually somehow brace the tree beside the one that fell (the one you can see in the picture on the left). It was doing some heaving when the wind would blow and I was extremely worried it was going to come down on the house. He was just on his way over to check it out when dh pulled up. We spent some time talking about options and then our other neighbor pulled up to see if he could help. It's lovely out in the country how everyone bands together. We literally live at the back end of our subdivision, in a sweet little forest. How he knew we were in need of help I never did quite figure out but there he was. We went and grabbed our chainsaw, he got his out of his truck and we went to work clearing away the first tree. Then we figured out a pulley system we had in our garage to tie the second tree down while our neighbor, who is an engineer, figured out where to make the cuts in the tree to get it to fall in just the right spot. I don't have that picture today but could post at another time. There his is in the second picture on the right, tying down our "system" while our neighbor in the yellow rain gear held on with my dh. This guy is 84 years old and works outside every day. He just replaced the fencing down his lane and between our properties, by hand, on his own and would not accept any help. He's quite the character. So notches were made in the trunk, I ran around the corner as I couldn't watch and within minutes, the tree came crashing down. It was incredibly loud so we can't figure out why we didn't hear the first one come down! Once we were able to see that no damage had been down, we all then went to work chainsawing it in to big pieces of firewood. And with that, our home was safe and the 2 trees that were going to cost close to $1,000 next month to come down were taken care by nature and by neighbors, without any cost, though we are planning a big thank you for both of them for their time and expertise. We are so thankful for close neighbors out here where it is so important to know each other. We do have to rely on each other when things like nature take over the day.
So that is the tale of our "tree drama" and I hope it's the only one we'll ever have to tell. I'm a true tree hugger but had no issue saying goodbye to these 2 monsters who could have done some serious damage if they had fallen the wrong way. All is well and now we can be more relaxed and feel safe when a wind storm comes our way.