Well bless my heart, the city of Portland said “Sure you can take down your tree.” Just like that. The email with the permit in it beat us home by several hours. We were on foot. We’re analog, that way.
And now it begins. The whining of chainsaws! The screaming of hippies! Bring it on!
My niece is in the same fix. She has a tree that’s going to come down, and what it would like to do is come down on her house when it feels like it and not a second later, but she was hoping to persuade it otherwise. And the estimates she got for the deed were in the $4000 range. I figured felling a tree was a scary proposition but I didn’t think it was $4000 scary. That’s really scary.
The other thing my niece has besides the ominous tree, which is five thousand feet tall and wide even after you strip the brass knuckles and nunchucks off it, is a boyfriend with a serious jones for taking down a tree. Hercules has been trying to talk her into letting him take down their tree for months now, and she won’t let him. She likes him a whole lot and isn’t done with him yet, and she’d rather take the chance of losing a couple of licensed, insured, strapping 25-year-olds in sexy safety harnesses than lose him. Apparently you can put a price tag on love. It’s at least $4000.
But my tree, which we are calling the Big Easy, is a whole different matter. My tree pretends to be big but it’s all hat and no stuffing. “How about,” I suggested to my niece, “if we set Hercules loose on my tree, and he can get it out of his system?” The idea is that my tree might damage him a little, but not kill him outright. I get my tree down, and she gets to keep her boyfriend more or less unmaimed, and he can go on to other projects.
Done! The very next day Herc shows up at nine o’clock with the requisite splendid beard, a big pair of forearms, and a big pair of hand saws. Yes. Hand saws. It was the Stealth Felling. He sawed off the lowest branch and worked his way up. Just whoosha whoosha whoosha all day, so subtle that a flock of bushtits went in to land in their usual spots that evening and dropped to the ground like fuzzy hail. In five hours, almost without the neighbors noticing, our scarlet oak was down to a flagpole, with Herc furling gently at its top. The branches were cut up in two pickup-loads and carted away. Really, scraping the hippie out of the top of the tree was the trickiest part.
Herc thought it was fun. He enjoys the workout and he enjoys the puzzle of figuring out just how to take a tree down strategically without killing himself or, might I add, my precious shrublets. I enjoyed watching my tree come down for the price of a salami sandwich–he doesn’t even drink beer–and being able to return him to my niece in shiny original condition.
But the scheme was not flawless. Now he thinks this proves he can take down her tree, and that I’ll back him up on that. I think he probably can, but I’m not going to mention it.
Where did she find this dude, you ask? I’ll tell you. She found him in the woods. The rest of you looking for your true love on imsettling.com, or in all the gin-joints in all the towns in all the world, can think about that for a while.
Where does Pootie get all his clothes? He seems to have an outfit for every occasion. I'll wager he has a bigger wardrobe than you do. Since he is such a sartorial icon, does he also have "spa days" to keep up his appearance with "bearscaping"?
He has this little tiny credit card, and yes he does have more clothes than I do. But he's not a spa guy, or a bear!
Here in Bubbaville we don't need no steenkin' permits to dispose of our unwanted shrubbage. So a neighbor's tree took it upon itself to relocate to our yard yesterday. It only nicked the shed a little bit. Fortunately the neighbor is a sensible type with insurance, so we just have to wait for the insurance company to take a look. Which will probably take longer than your permit did, come to think of it.
Shrubbage! Those trees with their own opinions make me nervous.
Oh, puhleeze do not let him do it. I like the Dude's with damage insurance,health insurance, life insurance.
I hope you kept some firewood or soon-to-be-milled lumber. $4000? I'm in the wrong business!
Well, hers is a massive tree. Mine is only 18 years old but I suppose there's some lumber hidden in there.
Pootie's hat is especially inspired today. Did the Dude wear one just like it?
Only when he was poaching.
The bushtit "fuzzy hail" line is exactly what my day needed.
I should't be so amazed he doesn't drink beer, right?
More for you.
Bushtits do everything together. I'm thinking it only takes one to come in for a landing and they all go down.
Without killing your precious shrublets? Now that is a service which DOESN'T come with the $4000 price tag. Your niece has found a gem.
Murr, I'm starting to wonder if you've lost your edge — no pics of Herc, doing the deed? Awww, c'mon — you're not ready for the convent yet, are you? Even something as chaste as a few rippling muscles and a sweat-stained red flannel plaid shirt? Oh,wait. That stuff is for your 'other' blog, right? (Did I say something wrong? 🙂 )
Or maybe some things are more powerful left to the imagination?
I wouldn't have minded a few pics of Herc at werc, I don't often get to see men doing manly things these days.
Seriously, consider having the tree trunk turned into planks. Dad Downs cut down a maple tree in the yard of the family home, around 1959. Sent the tree trunk to the local lumber mill (Murphy & Ames, Falls Church VA) and had the thing sliced up, sanded, and turned into maple planks. Around 1980, bored with retirement, he built his own small addition to his house. And yup, installed those maple planks (they'd been sitting loose in the attic as improvised flooring)as the floor of his sitting-room addition. When I sold the family home in 2011, it was probably the last house in Arlington that had wood from its own yard. You never know when you're going to leave a legacy?
Your Dad was super cool. But if I ever threaten to put another addition on this house, feel free to call the mental health department.
You could build Pootie his own little resort getaway, with a pool or fishing pond.
Which leads to the rhetorical question, what DOES a dog like the Poot do on vacation?
I'm a native Texan (I can't help where my parents chose to live). When I moved to Oregon I thought that was the strangest thing I'd ever heard, a permit to cut down a tree. If Texas was more concerned about shade canopy you might not fry like an egg in the hot summers. Glad to hear it's already done. Your furry friend is nice too.
Texas is one place I've never been. Ain't that the place where T. Boone Pickens drilled out all the fossil water? Or is T. Boone Pickens a bluegrass star? I get mixed up.
4G for one tree? Would you like me to send the chaps who took out 6 (biggest only around 25' high), swept the driveway and took away the trimmings for change out of $2,000.They also brought in a thing called a "stump grinder" which was, in hindsight, a mistake.But My Man patched-in a piece of pipe where the grinder ground a drain pipe…he works free.
Oh dear–the stump grinder guy is coming in tomorrow! I'm pretty sure there are no pipes or electrical lines in there. Pretty sure.
Does Portland not have MISS DIG? They will come out in a jiffy and mark the lines in the ground…water, gas, etc.
Well done Hercules! I'm wondering if it might be better to climb to the top and saw those branches first, then work your way down sawing as you go, so when you reach the bottom you're already on the ground to saw the last few, but I know nothing about tree cutting, so I could be wrong there.
In my opinion, the woods or anywhere else there are real people, is a far better option for finding someone than on the internet where a "strapping young mountain climber" might in actual fact be a 72 year old weakling attached to an oxygen tank who just likes photos of pretty young people.
Oh, you've met "Big Ned?"
No, I don't cruise the internet for possibilities. Enough is enough already. I'm ready for the quiet at-home life.
"Really, scraping the hippie out of the top of the tree was the trickiest part."
You are the best.
You know very well I'm that hippie, assuming someone sends up snacks.
When I first saw that Murr was writing about "A Big Pair," My mind was spinning out of control. I did not expect the writing from the title!
Now what I want to know, did you sit outside adoringly watching the young, strapping,muscular man do what he did? Heck, I might have felt so hot I would have been sipping an ice cold lemonade! But that's just me…
I did watch. Yes.
Oh my! You need a permit to cut a tree? Easier for us in the rural areas. However, the cost is about the same.
Yup, we needed a permit, but I'm fine with that. It kind of reminds me of when we were looking for a little hut to buy on the mountain. There was a marked difference between the Forest Service cabins, with GOBS of rules (from allowable paint colors to roof materials and certainly no tree removals), and the options on private property. The Forest Service cabins were gentle intrusions on the mossy, ferny landscape. The private properties seemed to mandate junk and metal crap in the yards, old cars, and a barking dog on a chain.
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