We bought our house partially for the trees. Other lots in the neighborhood were denuded patches of grass, easy to manage but sterile looking. We liked the shade and the snug feeling of living in a mini forest. After a few years, we realized that trees in Florida jump out of the ground and grow seven feet in a year. Too much of a good thing. We began to cut down trees growing close to the house, but missed a few along the way.
We had a lightning damaged laurel oak removed a few years ago, but another grew along the east fence by the back yard shed. It dropped branches down on the shed and pushed its thick trunk up against the power line. Three laurel cherries grew nearby and entangled the line in their foliage. A camphor, one half on our side, the other in the rental yard next door, stretched its branches over the east side of our house. We decided last year, right after we weathered Hurricane Irma, to remove looming threats wherever we could.
Seven men from Kevin’s Tree Service came yesterday and did the job in three hours. Drizzly rain fell intermittently, and the workers wasted no time. They brought a flatbed trailer for heavy branches and trunks, a bobcat front loader, a chipper, a bucket lift, a crane, rakes, a leaf blower and a several chain saws. They cut, hoisted, sawed, raked and chipped like busy beavers. A man wearing spiked boots let the crane lift him to the top of the laurel oak. He attached a loop to sections of the trunk and sawed beneath to let the crane lift the tree out part by part. The heavy trunk came last, and I hunkered down when the crane operator swung a twelve foot length over our roof. He managed to swivel it from the back yard, around the magnolia in the front, and down to the bottom of our driveway. Men chained sawed it into smaller sections, and the Bobcat scooped them up.
The crew finished just before heavy rains started to fall at midday. They cleared the yard, loaded equipment, and left soon after I signed papers and wrote a check. It all happened so fast.
Now we have more light shining down on our back yard. The power line hangs free and clear. We’re still surrounded by our mini forest, but it’s a bit thinner and not so close to the house.
Lots of jobs remain to do inside and outside our house, but I’m relieved that this one’s crossed off the list two days before hurricane season starts. Yesterday’s rain was a parting gift from Tropical Storm Alberto.