This morning while I was drinking my breakfast shake and thinking about a pre-yoga class shower, I heard a muffled crash.
Now, of course I knew that a huge portion of this locust tree was dead. In fact, I had been meaning to call for a quote from a tree company that had left a flyer on my door not once but TWICE in the past week. The first flyer is sitting right here on my desk with some key sections missing thanks to Dr. Jones' penchant for chewing on paper.
So once the rain came after months of drought, the rotted section of the tree probably took on water like a sponge. And then it fell on top of the phone/cable lines, just the way I'd pictured it in my mind's eye a zillion times when I was telling myself that I needed to "do something" about that tree.
Once I looked out and saw what had happened, I went in to tell my husband. He had only been asleep for maybe an hour, so he was no help at all beyond a promise to pay whatever it cost to deal with the issue.
I stood out in the rain, gazed at the fallen tree blocking the street and honestly had no idea what to do.
Even though I was in my pajamas and robe, I went out to see if I could move enough of the tree so that people could drive by. The answer to that was "no." And now my robe needs to be washed.
I went inside and called the guy from the flyer. Fortunately, he was just about to leave the house anyway and he said he'd be right over. Then I called my sister and let her know I wouldn't be coming to yoga class.
It wasn't long before someone drove into our dead-end street and needed to get by. Fortunately, the neighbor she was coming to visit had a chainsaw, so he drove up from the other direction and cut enough of the tree away to clear a path.
My guy arrived about twenty minutes later. We talked through the options, ranging from just dealing with the immediate aftermath of today's incident, to trimming the dead parts off and hoping to keep the rest of the tree going for a while, to taking the whole tree down. I had him give me a variety of bids while I thought about it.
This is not the only time we've incurred expenses thanks to this tree. The first time a limb came down, it knocked the guttering off the porch and we ended up replacing all of the gutters. The time after that, a limb shattered our rusty old water main, which had to be replaced to the tune of about $5,000. Basically, having this tree in our yard has been like sitting on a pile of unexploded ordnance.
As tempted as I was to try to save the tree, I decided it was time to let it go. His quote for the entire job was less than I expected, which helped tip the decision in that direction.
He started cutting up the fallen section of the tree while I went in and attempted to reach the phone company to let them know that their utility pole had snapped.
It took a number of attempts to get through to a person and explain what I was calling about. I could tell that there were severed cable TV lines involved as well, but after the phone company ordeal I decided I would let them deal with notifying the other companies whose services were affected.
Because there was nothing left for me to do, I went ahead and met a couple at the pet store so they could meet one of my rescue group's kittens, and then had a late second breakfast and coffee. By the time I got back, the tree crew had removed most of the branches from the tree and was starting to run them through the woodchipper.
They weren't able to finish the tree removal today, partly due to the unceasing rain and partly because our neighbors need to move two non-running cars out of the way in case one of the big tree sections falls in just the wrong place.
However, as of tomorrow we will have a treeless front yard. It makes me sad to see such a big, old tree taken out, but nothing lives forever. I'll start thinking about what kind of tree I'd like to plant in the front yard next.