I’m not an intentionally confrontational person. So when my husband and I made the decision to cut down trees in my backyard I should have just kept my mouth shut. Of course I didn’t.
I elatedly texted my Florida friend of my plans thinking she’d celebrate the notion of opening up the garden to more light. She was not amused even when I told her how terrifying it was in the house during our latest windstorms with 40 mph gusts. She countered with, “Uh, hurricanes. 70 mph.” Then she sent me an article that stated only 50 people a year die from being hit by a tree and 500 die from falling out of bed.
I’ve only been to Florida three or four times, and only to Disney World, so I’ve never observed their variety of trees. I’m thinking palm trees with deep roots. All I know for sure is though I really liked the trees in my backyard, when I sat inside my all-glass sunporch and looked straight up I couldn’t see the top of the large fir hovering above my head. They were beautiful and majestic and, from my understanding, shallow rooted.
My 23-year-old daughter was against the idea until she was at home alone when the first windstorm whipped through. She was ready to crawl into bed with us that night, but probably didn’t because though we protect her from what we can, even we can’t stop a tree from falling on the house.
Which, by the way, was my main reason for cutting them down. I wasn’t afraid of dying by tree, I was afraid of them falling on the house which would have unleashed a whole stressful conundrum. Maybe those 500 people who died falling out of bed fell out of bed because a tree fell on their houses.
So I called an expert referred by my Edward Jones guy, who took one look and said the job was too big for him. He referred us to P and D Logging. Now you know me, I’m either smart or lazy when it comes to finding people to do work I need. If I get a referral, and if I feel good vibes upon meeting them, I’ll go with them.
Chris Jr. came out to do the bid; he and his father own the company. He was very considerate of my angst as he gazed up at the biggest tree and said, “It’s a stout tree, but trees can fall.” He wasn’t trying to talk me into or out of removing them, and probably gave me the most honest, unbiased opinion. Though I had peace after talking to him, I still struggled with the guilt of removing God’s creations that were probably older than me. Then I realized had I not said anything to my Florida, tree-hugging friend, I would not have given it a second thought. So we hired P and D.
It was a HUGE job. Not only did we have seven backyard trees taken down, but we also took out ten trees in front to prepare for my husband’s new shop. His multiple crews were all over our yard like monkeys: climbing trees, repelling down, wielding the crane and other heavy machinery some in the front, some in the back. It was awesome to watch. They had all the trees down and the yard cleaned up in six hours. Plus I opted to leave the stumps in the back as interesting garden features and they carved “flower pots” into them for me.
The yard is more gorgeous than ever. Oh, and by the way, we still own a small forest that stands respectfully away from the house. Bring on the wind!
Gretchen Leigh is a stay-at-home mom who lives in a neighborhood near you. You can read more of her writing on her website livingwithgleigh.com, or to see pictures illustrating her columns, follow her on Facebook at “Living with Gleigh by Gretchen Leigh. Her column is always available at maplevalleyreporter.com under the Life section.