I know----what do I mean by that....Well Doyle, Sis and I had been watching the news earlier this week and there was one story about trees that appear healthy but suddenly falling over or losing huge limbs without warning.
Part of it appears to be "stress" caused to the trees because of lack of water, part of it is because of soil conditions and the ground can no longer hold the tree, I could understand it if a tree gets too much water that can cause rot to form, and considering that last year with a lot of rain and then heavy windy conditions one of the largest trees near Lake Merritt fell over like a huge dinosaur, I can understand that.
I can also understand if there is too little rain trees either dropping limbs and in essence pruning itself because of lack of water. And if the soil becomes too dry and roots die off for a whole tree to fall over, but we seem to be, according to the news broadcast losing a lot of trees espeically in the city.
Well that did set me to thinking, I do have some trees in the back garden area that need to be trimmed and before they start leafing out too much, so I talked to my gardener and he agreed that it would be good to trim back unruly branches and shape the canopy a bit on them, do it right and the trimming could last for several years.
So I planned on having him over on Saturday, ........ well things took a sudden turn.
I have on one side of my property my Sisters house and she does not have any trees on her property, but on the other side is my neighbor who has a wonderful old Oak Tree, and I had been looking at that tree and thinking it might be a wise idea to talk to my neighbor who is elderly and baby sits Belladonna and Weiner Dog, for us to see about making arrangements to trim her Oak tree and I would pay for it, I knew she had limited income.
The other evening that was taken out of my hands when both Doyle and I woke up to the sound of a loud crack---crash!!! Doyle got up grabbed his robe and flashlight and went out into the back yard where we heard the sounds----I quickly followed but made sure the dogs stayed put, Sis joined me as she decided to spend the night at my place since her bedroom was being painted at her place.
And what did our eyes see???? A huge branch of the old Oak Tree had come crashing down into the garden breaking the fence and crushing the plants----Oh dear! Thought I, We do have a problem, our neighbor came out on to her back porch and started crying out "My God!!!" Well that did cause another neighbor to call 911 thinking that she was hurt.
So admist the flurry of police officers, a fire truck, ourselves calming our neighbor down and other neighbors coming over to see what was the excitment, and poor Brian holding the fort with the dogs, we were able to ascertain that no one was hurt, a fence was seriously broken, an Old Oak Tree had shedded one of it's large branches, some rose bushes were pruned in an extreme way and smaller plants crushed.
I was very glad that one of the police officers was my "cute" friend, he was one of the first on scene and pretty much took charge until his sargent showed up and saw that things were under control.
The EMT's checked our elderly neighbors blood pressure and although elevated, not dangerously so, the police put up caution tape, and I persuaded our neighbor to come and stay the night at my house so she wouldn't feel frightened and alone and assured her that things will look much better in the morning. The EMT's took her blood pressure again and it had come down to a more resonable level and she declined going to the ER.
I said that if she didn't feel any better in the morning we would take her to the ER. Morning had dawned and all of us with coffee cups in hand went to look at the damaged and although there was damaged, it was not insurmountable. My gardener showed up ready to trim trees and instead found a fallen giant of a tree limb, his first remark to me was "I'm gonna need a bigger truck". For some reason that scene in "Jaws" flashed through my mind of that sheriff saying to the 2 sailors "We're gonna need a bigger boat" and I started laughing.
So sitting in the patio drinking coffee, we formed a plan of action, my Gardner called his son who brought the bigger truck, and said that once the tree limb was removed could acertain what damage was done to the plants underneath, I thought to myself "well this is the right time to buy new rose bushes", but my poor neighbor said that she didn't have the funds to cover any repairs or replacements, and I knew her financial situation pretty well, she received enough to cover general maintance and if she was pro-active could take care of things in advance without it being too much and on any long term projects could save up for it, but this was not planned and it was a question of the health of the tree, was it rotted? Would it have to be completely removed? This she didn't have the funds for, and of course the fence.
So I decided to deal with it, and assured her to not worry about the fence, I would pay for replacing the broken section and see about the limb removal and my Gardener knew of a arborist who could check on the tree, I said I'd pay for it and if it needed removal I would attend to it. After all she does baby sit our dogs even on a moment's notice. And has been helpful in many other ways.
Once we were sure that my neighbor's health was in good shape, and with cotton balls for ear plugs for us and Doyle taking the dogs to the doggie day care so the sound of chain saws would not frighten them, the chain saws began their massacare on the Oak tree limb being careful in regards to the plants underneath.
Those saws chewed and chewed and even found a couple of spikes that the Oak tree had grown around, the good thing is that the saws were not damaged, I was watching how they were working on it, for some reason why is it that things like chain saws, jack hammer and big heavy duty trucks see to attract little boys, the reason why I say this is that some of my neighbors came by with their little sons who wanted to see the chain saws do "their thing"and they watched from my porch "the show".
I did have to turn on "Kitty Kat" incase one of the little darlings wandered away and one did and came running back talking frantically about the BIG KITTY that scared him, of course I showed his mother what he was talking about, she liked the idea and wondered if there was away to do something like that when those door-to-door solisitors showed up. I thought that might be a good idea, that or a "fog horn" for a door bell.
Sis could not stay around for the show and Brian had to go to the City, so with Doyle recruited to watch the children on the porch, I took the mother's on an improtu tour of my home, one of the mother's remarked about how I decorate the house for Halloween and I smiled at her and said "It's always Halloween in my home". I finished the tour in the formal parlour where the portrait of my Great Aunt looked down upon them, one of the ladies remembered her but only as an old lady I was asked if I had plans for the house after I died, I said I was thinking of a few things but that I didn't plan on dying any time soon.
Then the show was over, the mother's gathered up their little ones who wanted to play in the garden but the mother's wisely thought that was going a little too far on imposing on me.
After the bits and pieces of the limbs and broken fence were removed, I could look at what was left of the carnage, 3 rose bushes would have to be replaced, but I thought to move the seriously damged ones over to the cemetery and plant them there if they revived, they revived, if they didn't well compost is always good.
Much of the smaller plants were crushed, so once the fence is replaced I'll get some annuals to fill in the spaces so there'd be some dark color, my neighbor was so sorry about it but I told her it was only Mother Nature doing what she does best---wreaking havoc where ever she goes.
I put in a call to my contractor and he'll come by on Tuesday afternoon, my gardener will come by on monday to do what was orginally planned, I think we'll have to wait until the following week to do any fence replacement, so that means the dynamic duo will have to do their 1's and 2's in the patio section of the yard.
And I invited my neighbor over for dinner that evening, I told her to not worry about cooking we'll have dinner, a little wine, a little laughter over what happened and all will be well, and it was.
Now if I can get the sound of chain saws out of my ears and mind.