Friday, December 11, 2009


Sometime during the high winds and light snow Sunday night and Monday, this huge oak tree (center of photo) was pushed almost to a 45 degree angle. The soil around the base of the 24” tree had been disturbed a couple of years back when a tree growing next to it toppled, and this year’s 12” surplus of rain weakened the grip the roots had on the ground. One of the nearly 50 mph gusts that passed through the area shoved it against several smaller trees that prevented it from falling into the house next door to my vacant lot.

My neighbors were concerned that if it went the full distance it would strike the end of their house, and with the additional length the supporting trees would have added, it would have slapped heavily against their home. Therefore, since it was my tree, we decided to have the tree cut and split the cost*.

The first guy my neighbor called, who will remain nameless, was a certifiable nut! Instead of business, he talked the entire time about some one he knew at his church committing suicide. He stopped once to interject that he would not cut the tree unless it was supported by a crane!

The dollar signs rolled up in both our eyes. We glanced at each other, one saying, “We’ll get back with ya,” while I gave her the silent “call me” sign! The man left, still talking mostly to himself, and I went back to my house.

When my neighbor called I told her that I was calling “Blanks Tree Work” (Roane County, Tennessee). She agreed and soon I was calling her back telling her that Greg Blanks was on his way out.

Long story short, Greg sized up the job, noting that it would be tricky, (but no crane) but that they should have no problem. He then gave us a very fair price…we shook hands and he left promising to be there the next morning.

The crew arrived just after 8:30 and had the tree on the ground in about 3 hours. However, as I write this, I can still hear them cleaning up the debris. So, the job took about 4 and a 1/2 hours.

The tree was hung up in several smaller trees, with one medium sized gum holding most of the weight. The trick was to cut the tree from the top down without messing with the limbs supporting the weight. The tallest section was roped off to one side, which eventually caused it to fall well clear of the house. One large limb was finally left near the middle of the tree, just at the end of the heaviest part, while they cut the base and applied weight to the single limb (see red arrow). Suddenly it cracked and down she came in a big huff and a cloud of flying twigs that shook the ground where I stood snapping away!

My neighbors can sleep in peace tonight without worrying about their house, and I can stop worry about every little imaginary detail.

Last night I dreamed about snakes…snakes were everywhere under me. Strangely I was walking on my hands through the snakes! I’m sure they just represented all the possible things that could have gone wrong today. As usual, nothing did. Greg Blanks took care of me once again.

*The law on a tree from your yard falling on your neighbor is that HIS homeowner’s policy is supposed to pay. The trick there is…HE must have insurance. If not, then you have to get involved. In this case, I decided to do the right thing.


pogo said...

Dreaming of snakes is supposed to be about life, death, and rebirth. It is common to dream of snakes when facing death. Maybe the death of your oak tree caused the dreams.... Or maybe you ate too late before you went to bed....

FHB said...

I think I'm gonna bring my rubber snake when I come next time.

Was you nekkid in the dream?

Elizabeth Bradley said...

I am so afraid of snakes it isn't even funny.

Don't you love people that do good work? They make life easier. Glad it all worked out in the end.

BRUNO said...

Bet you were a stiff-n'-sore son of a gun this morning!

So, what're you gonna dream-up for an encore?

Maybe high-wire walking with projectile-diarrhea?

That'd be a REAL-nightmare...!

Sandi McBride said...

Tree cutting is no job for the inexperienced, I can tell you! Glad you got the job done by a professional instead of a nutcase...or gumball case...
Have a great weekend.

Ralph said...

I've cut down a lot of trees like that. Whatever was paid - it was worth it. They are called widow makers for a reason.
Quit walking on your hands and be proud you did the right thing.

Shrinky said...

Oh gosh, this is something close to my heart! Every time there is a storm I seem to find the glen has taken a hit, and we are legally oblidged to ensure our section there is safe. Our neighbour had to get a huge old oak tree removed from their part of the glen just before when we moved in - around eight years ago, it cost them over two thousand pounds!! Sheesh. Glad it all went well, I can imagine it's a great relief to be done with it all.

Mushy said...

This cost us 492.0352 UK Pounds, or $800 US bucks!