The dead elm is now truly dead and the stumps are no more. This past Friday the tree dudes came out with their cherry picker, wood chipper, and stump grinder and in a matter of two hours had taken care of business. About and hour into the job the owner of the company rapped on our door. I joked with my wife that he would be coming in to say, “I noticed some of your other trees could use some trimming. I can take care of it right now for an extra 20 bucks.” You know, the typical add some extra cash onto your tab kind of ploy.
Turned out to be $150. And instead of trimming the trees he wound up cutting a major branch off the extremely large oak tree on the side of our house. He pointed out a hole you could see that went through the entire branch, which was 10-12 inches in diameter. According to him this meant the branch was dead and could wind up falling on my head (the last part of that was my conclusion, not his). That’s quite alright. As I’ve said before, no branches will be crashing my noggin anytime soon. But since I wasn’t expecting to shell out an extra $150 I left it up to my wife.
“I’m OK with it either way.” After all this guy was a certified arborist – he must know what he’s talking about, right? So my wife went out to take a look and came back in with a half scowl on her face.
“Man, I hate spending money on this kind of stuff,” she vented in frustration.
“So you told him to go ahead and do it?” I asked.
“Yeah, but I also told him that it sucks having to do this.”
The whole family sat there looking out our bay window, as though we were watching a film on the big screen and the men working in front of us were cast in the movie. And what a grand movie it was. As the $150 branch came crashing to the ground our eyes widened and mouths fell open as we screeched in horror at the hollow insides of the now dismembered tree. The master tree dude stood above the fallen limb and pointed down upon it as if to say, “No more, vile branch…no more.” And with that he looked up with a hero-like smirk and gave a confident thumbs up in our direction. With pleasure I returned his gesture and could now sleep soundly knowing that no branches would fall today or anytime soon.
The evil stumps and living dead trees will haunt us no longer.
We are free…
Watch a clip of the movie below with my daughter providing commentary.
A few days ago I wrote about getting a large dead elm tree removed from behind the shed in our back yard. Here’s an update on the price quotes:
1. $350 (doesn’t include removal of wood)
2. $550 (includes removal of wood)
3. $750 (includes removal of wood)
4. $350 (includes removal of wood) + $90 to grind the stump + $40 to grind the four hedge stumps in the front
We told the last guy that we had a lot of other quotes already which I think helped reduce his quoted amount. He told us since he would already have his grinder he could easily grind out the hedge stumps at the front of the house for just 10 bucks a piece. Hot Damn! One less thing for me to sweat over! On top of that he said he would grind down a couple other little stumps that had been plaguing the side yard for the low cost of FREE. We didn’t waste any time scheduling a day for him to come out. And Monday is the day we’ll lay the dead elm to rest. One of the tree dudes told us that the bark peeling off the tree was a clear sign that it was pretty much wasted and could come crashing down at any moment. Hmmm, that’s not so good. All the better to just take care of it now. I don’t need any trees falling on me.
If I was really cool I’d save the big stump and make a table out of it like the one pictured above. But I’m not that cool and no one, including myself, wants a stinky dead elm table.
This past weekend some things around the house were finally completed. Not directly related to home improvement, but incredibly important nonetheless, I finally finished building my daughter’s wooden swing set – which is good right? Well, sorta. See now I have to cut out a bed for the mulch that will go under the swings, but rather than just cut out the area directly around the swing set, we decided to cut out a much larger area that starts at the left side of the shed and goes to what will eventually be the new fence line. This means excavating a lot of sod and dirt and planting various flowers and shrubs as well. Yay. Obviously, I’m still not finished with this.
I was also able to install the new storm windows in the sun room. This ended up being one of the easiest projects we’ve worked on and the windows all work and look great – that’s good, right? Mmmm, sorta. After replacing the old with the new we realized we need to do some touch up painting around the windows. I know for many of you this is small potatoes, but I can’t stand these piddly kind of projects. Makes me queasy. This is the kind of thing that will sit untouched for months unless I absolutely force myself to do it, which I find about as difficult as forcing myself to throw-up by sticking a finger down my throat.
I also cleaned up some of the newly cut beds around the front of the house by removing a few large piles of old sod. I look a little less ghetto now, though not by much. I still have four large hedge stumps in the front of the house that need to be pulled and now we’ve decided that we need to remove a large, dead elm tree that’s right along what will soon be the rear fenceline. Three quotes so far:
- $350 (doesn’t include removal of wood)
- $550 (includes removal of wood)
- $750 (includes removal of wood)
We still have a couple more guys coming out to give us quotes so we’ll see how things turn out. We may be able to get someone in our family to take the wood for free which will save a couple hundred bucks. I like how that sounds.
So as it often goes with home improvement, one project leads to another, thereby officially creating a cycle that never ends. And naturally, I have the pleasure of being a part of that cycle. Excuse me as I wipe a tear…I’m truly moved.