Thursday, December 06, 2012

The Tree

My neighbor has a tree on her yard which is a puzzle and a bit of a problem for me. It overhangs my yard and has damaged my roof over the years. If it were planted so that it gave her shade, or if it were near a window that overlooked it in such a way as to provide a pleasant prospect I could understand why she hasn't had it removed. However, it is in an obscure area near the back of her house on the north side and planted so near her house as to threaten damage to her foundation. Several months ago I suggested that I would be willing to share the cost of having it removed but he seemed to take mild offense and said she had it checked out regularly by a firm of tree people. A month ago a heavy, wet snow fall cracked off the major branch that had concerned me. It was suspended from the tree by a bit of frayed wood and bark and weighed down the wires that come into our house from the telephone pole at the back of my yard. It also leaned against the roof of my back porch. My greatest concern was that one of the wires suspending it was my electrical supply line and I called the city utility emergency line. The storm had brought down many limbs and trees and it wasn't until nearly two days later, at 3 AM on a Sunday morning that a crew showed up. They informed us that since the electrical line came in a a different angle, the branch was no concern of theirs, but they stayed around for more than an hour cutting branches from the trees along our fence line that impinged on the neighborhood power feed. The following Monday morning my son carefully positioned a ladder next to the branch and began to trim away the smaller branches that had snagged the various phone and internet lines that supported part of the branch. Looking out the window I suddenly sensed the need to pray for his safety. Opening my eyes, I saw him remove the last of the smaller branches and relieve the weight on the lines. With a snap and a whoosh, the branch separated from the tree and fell, displacing the ladder. My prayer for my son's safety was answered as the ladder remained upright against the house, even though it was vertical with one side only inches from the edge. My daughter quickly ran out of her apartment downstairs and steadied the ladder while my son descended. In the end, no harm was done to either my son or the house or the various supply wires. I noticed that the branch, nearly 8 inches in diameter at the base, had a dark streak at its center and several other, smaller branches had also been broken to hang loose above a less vulnerable area of my back yard. So essentially I need no longer worry about the branch, but the tree itself may well be suffering from some disease that will bring the entire thing down eventually. The problem I then faced was whether or not I should contact my neighbor about the potential threat. She lost her husband to age related problems a few months ago and she recently survived a long bout with cancer. She is old and frail and lives alone These factors were part of my quandary. Fortunately I was able to consult my bishop during tithing settlement. He advised it would probably be best to ignore the problem under the circumstances. I am really grateful that I was able to obtain his counsel. Meanwhile we have a lot of fire wood when we get around to clearing up the branch with a chainsaw and other equipment as soon as it is warm enough.

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