Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Tree Killer

On Saturday, while we were all waiting for the Rapture to happen, one of the trees on my property met with a tragic accident. Our neighbor, not paying attention to his driving was speeding up to his house intending to stop in briefly, drove up at a high rate of speed and caught a limb of one of our trees and ripped it off. As you can see from this picture, there is now a gaping hole in the front of the tree which will no doubt substantially reduce the tree’s lifespan.

The ordinance says that any tree hanging over the roadway has to have a clearance of 14’. Our trees do not hang out over the road and therefore are within the standard for city street trees. We planted them some 20 years ago, and when they first went in, my husband and our neighbor made sure to measure carefully so they are spaced a good four feet apart. We are also pretty good at monitoring the branches and making sure they clear the tallest vehicle that is parked at the curb. I have no doubt that this poor tree will meet its demise sooner that the others at which point there will be a gaping hole in the symmetry that was our tree line.

When something like this happens, I am always curious at the reaction of the person involved. First my husband, who has been known to have a quick temper, handled it rather rationally. I was not able to witness this, but my husband told me that after his initial outburst of profanity, he approached our neighbor calmly realizing that screaming and demanding answers would not put the branch back on the tree (a lesson that has taken over 20 years to learn). Our neighbor was quite apologetic over the situation and offered to pay for anything that was needed. He realized he made a grievous error on and was totally in the wrong. We may have an arborist come by and give some advice, but the people to whom I sent copies of the pictures felt it was unnecessary because the arborist could not really do anything to help. The tree will die eventually and they felt that although the trauma will kill it sooner than the others there is nothing that can be done to extend its life. We will just have to trim the edges and hope for the best.

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