Sad, Happy, Sad…Smiling.

When we bought our house back in 2013, one of the first things my husband said was a few bad words followed by Ash Trees. He hated Ash Trees. We had them at the farm we were living on and they are messy trees, not huge growers, and as he would say, “Why plant an Ash when you can plant a Maple?”.

I’ll have to admit, I agreed.

This was how our house looked back when we first bought it. For those of you who are new here, we bought a foreclosure home for $20K and put a whole lot of money into it, and ended up with this…

My husband wasn’t sad when a few years later we heard that the Ash Bore was coming and killing off Ash Trees. I wasn’t sad either…

Then we lived here for a while and I got kind of attached to those annoying Ash trees at the front of the house. They provided a ton of shade to the childcare kiddos and our family in the afternoons when it was too hot to be in the backyard. There were no trees in the backyard as it is to the west so afternoons are HOT in the backyard. We have since planted two trees there but as you all know… it takes a bit for trees to grow. Those Ash trees near the sidewalk made the front yard nice.

Fast forward to this year… As spring came I took a look at my trees. Umm…trouble was in sight.

The sidewalk you see is in front of my house. There are three trees in the picture. The bad tree near the cars in my neighbor’s tree. The one in the middle is mine as is the one to the left of it. You can see the middle tree didn’t leaf out. The one on the left is about half. UGH.

The Ash Bore came.

Well, my husband got his wish…the Ash trees have to go, but dang it. My husband passed away and left me to deal with it. (These are the worst times for me. I don’t have a clue how to deal with it)

I was pretty sad. I didn’t want to deal with this and darn it. I had come to appreciate those trees.

So my first idea was to message my kids to see if we could come up with ideas. Kalissa, our daughter, had a tree service come to take out a big oak of theirs and it was $750. Um…that’s a lot.

Our son Buck is handy and great with a chainsaw but was this too much? My neighbor is great with a chainsaw and I thought maybe if we help him, he’ll help us. That was a pretty good idea. Buck said he could get the tree down but the bigger problem he thought was what to do with the tree once it’s down. Darn. Good point.

Then I called Craig, my son-in-law. He’d work on that…he had an idea or two but wasn’t sure about them. They would take a little investigation.

Then I called my son Karl. He is on the city council. I wanted to know if we’d have to do something in regard to closing the road. I didn’t know if we had to notify someone or how that worked. He said he would talk to the Mayor at the next city council meeting.

Well, it just so happens that my neighbor was at my grandson Carver’s ball game last night. The mayor is my neighbor across the road. He’s a great guy and has a great family. Anyway, I asked him about closing the road or if we had to do something about that.

He said, “Remind me where the trees are located.”

I told him they are between the sidewalk and the road. He told me, “Don’t worry about it. They are the city’s trees.”

WHAT??? I was instantly elated. The trees aren’t my problem. I don’t have to fork any money…nothing. YAHOO!!! I’m so excited. I did all the worrying about the problem and the problem isn’t mine to worry about. I’m so happy.

Then I came home and looked at the trees as I turned in the driveway…I was sad again. I’m going to miss those trees…but at least they aren’t my problem to worry about!! Knowing that, made me smile again.

I’m hoping they get to it this summer. Fingers crossed. I don’t want it to look ugly with half-dead trees here.

13 thoughts on “Sad, Happy, Sad…Smiling.”

  1. Will the city also plant new trees? And if so, would they let you contribute some of the money you saved to plant bigger trees?????

  2. The ash borer got us also. We have quite a few of them. At least two are dead and the rest almost. The largest is huge. It would probably take three people holding hands to get around the trunk. We are going to miss that tree when it is gone. We’ll have to hire someone to get it down.

  3. Your ash tree story reminded me of my dad’s feelings about a neighbor’s tree. It was a messy tree and was right between the houses. My dad hated cleaning up after it year after year. It was not even a pretty tree. But he didn’t want to cause trouble with their neighbor lady by complaining. Well, a year after my dad passed away the tree started dying. The neighbor lady had to have it removed.

  4. We had so many Ash trees and they have all fallen or have been cut down. We hired a tree service and it is very costly. We also had one fall on our house which destroyed windows and the deck. I am glad the City will help with your trees.

  5. Emerald ash borer hit my town in Indiana a few years ago, and we lost many trees. The irony is that many of them were planted as replacements for elms lost to Dutch Elm Disease. Both ash and elm were good city trees before the imported bugs got to them; they have small leaves and aren’t prone to splitting.
    Our City Forester is really pushing diverse planting, even though everyone (me included) loves sugar maples, as he says, the next bug might kill maples. We can choose from a list, with the trees now grown in a city nursery. Some years they’re free, some years you pay half. They plant them and water them, using plastic watering bags.
    He’ll also come and consult. It’s one of my favorite city services, and a great use of tax money. My block has nine houses, and 14 city trees. We have lost several ash and elm trees since I moved in in 2004, but we have more trees now than then, and a wider variety. Mine are a long-leaf linden and a honey locust.

  6. Trees are a REALLY big deal here in Texas with as hot as it gets! Trees provide cooling necessary throughout the summer. When I moved into this house, there was a HUGE elm on the back/west side of the house and I LOVED that tree. Then there’s a HUGE live oak in the front yard. The elm had to be removed about 5 yrs after I moved in as it was dying..AARRGGHH. That was expensive having it felled and having the stump ground out. Then I paid to have an autumn blaze (I think that’s the name) maple delivered and planted to the tune of $800! I really needed something to replace that elm and provide the shade. It’s growing nicely but not even touching the shade aspect that the elm provided. Hopefully a couple of more years I’ll notice a difference. YOU got super lucky!

  7. Wow! You lucked out but I’ve always wondered about that. When ,,I was growing up we had the same sidewalk situation. I remember my dad saying, “That is city property.”

    We have two dying trees in our backyard. I think we are dragging our feet to get an estimate. Flowering plum has outlived it’s predicted life but it still gets quite a few leaves. My husband has been cutting the dead parts out the past couple years. The crabapple is just plain dead. It’s so weird because it bloomed and leafed out completely last year. One of our friends told us it looked like root rot.

    We just can’t fool with Mother Nature. :) But maybe you can help pick out some new trees.

  8. You are lucky the city takes care of the trees- we have street trees that are on city property, but the homeowner is expected to take care of them. We pay (a reduced rate) to have them cut down and are expected to replace them within a certain amount of time.

  9. A follow-up for anyone who needs to have tree work done:
    Look around your neighborhood for other trees that need to be removed or trimmed, and talk to the neighbors.
    A few years ago, I had a dead elm that needed to come down, one neighbor had two, and another three, plus a fourth neighbor with a silver maple.
    We got a really good deal from the tree company, because they did not have to waste time(=$) hauling their equipment and workers around. They could work very efficiently, and some of those savings were passed to us. They billed us separately, but did all the work in a single morning. We each would have paid several hundred dollars more if they had made four separate visits.

  10. I guess this is a little after the fact – two days after your posting but decided to comment anyway. It is always hard for me to take down a tree. So glad your city is responsible for the removal. We had that fell, but thankfully not on any structure. We have another that I’m told should come down, but I like it. We were told that the guy who lived here at one time didn’t like dealing with the leaves so he had the trees’ tops cut off. Unbelievable in my book.

  11. We had a tree taken down in our cul-d-sac. It is so sad. It was a messy tree so the neighbors are happy. But now it’s just blawww. We have a lot of trees in our yard and are going to have to take out 2 more in the next couple of years. I’m trying to figure out what I can replace them with. I hate when we lose trees.

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