Thursday, April 19, 2007

Tree Today, Gone Tomorrow

I live in a wonderful neighborhood with many tall, beautiful, extremely old trees. However, there is one tall, beautiful, extremely old, and sorta diseased tree in our front yard. This tree regularly drops giant chunks of branches on our driveway, which, aside from being where we park our car, is where our kids ride their bikes, play basketball, and otherwise dither around.

Several months ago we contacted the county to trim our tree as it is technically a county tree and only they are allowed to trim it. Some guy, an arborist perhaps, came out to look at it and left a note on our door with the message that our tree had been put in the most urgent category and they would get to it in an unspecified number of days (but specifically marked as "days").

Some weeks later a tree crew showed up on our street. But they were at our next door neighbor's house. We thought maybe they were doing both of our trees, so Alex went out to chat with them to make sure we were next. They told him that we were not on their work order and none of our trees would be getting trimmed. Then they proceeded to cut the neighbor's tree to the ground. And, really, to the ground. Giant stump notwithstanding.

After Alex called the arborist, he left us a message to the effect of, "I have no idea why they cut the other tree, it was your tree that was supposed to have been cut."

I repeat: To the ground.

Eventually the tree folks came back around, this time for our tree, which they lightly trimmed. After our last windstorm there were many small and at least one large branch that came off the tree. My question, and I'm talking to you, Montgomery County, Maryland, is why they would cut a lovely, apparently healthy and safe tree entirely down, and take only the minor branches off our giant, deadly tree. Now, I don't want a giant stump in my front yard any more than the next guy (literally the next guy), but my theory is that our tree is so huge and hangs over power lines (!) and thus was just too darn hard to sufficiently trim.

I am reminded of this because the stump people are out there in the neighbor's yard today digging up and shredding that behemoth and I really hope that the county is paying for that because small, adorable Team Stimey's safety aside, talk about adding insult to injury if the homeowner had to pay for it.

Ah, county government, the SNAFU that keeps on giving.

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