Friday, February 7, 2014

What a Mess

In mid-January, while out shoveling the driveway apron, I happened to look at the tree that's at the NE corner of my neighbor's property. It's right alongside my driveway. What caught my eye was this red dot on the trunk. That means the tree is slated to be taken down by the city.

This wasn't completely a surprise. It's an ash and it has been dead for a couple years now. The Emerald Ash Borer has decimated ash trees in the area. Longfellow waxed poetic about the chestnut trees in his hometown which were decimated by a blight. I suspect we will, some day, wax poetic about the stately ash trees we remember lining parkways and growing tall in backyards all over the Midwest. This is the same kind of tree that's off the northwest corner of my house. That has died as well and will need to be removed before Mother Nature does it and takes out my kitchen when she does. It's kind of ironic because new reports are that this cold weather will kill many of the bugs tormenting our trees. Perhaps, had this cold come two years ago, my ash would still be alive.

I wondered at what point the city would be around to remove the tree. Last week, on the way to work, I saw them on other streets, taking down other dead trees. I knew it was just a matter of time before they got to me.

Last night, when I returned home from work, I saw they had been there.

The snow was roiled and branches were stuck everywhere. In spite of the negative wind chill, I had planned to shovel some more in an attempt to get the walk done and maybe a bit more of the drive. 

In taking the tree down, they had used probably a small bobcat and had crushed and compacted the snow in the driveway apron. There's not much to shovel.

There is a problem however. All these branches in the snow mean that neither Eric nor Kelly can use their snow blowers to clear my driveway apron in the event of another large snowfall.

This is looking south where the sidewalk would be. Eric usually blows out the sidewalk, making one pass in front of my house and my neighbor's house. I really wouldn't want him doing this now as the danger of a branch being shot out the flue of his snow blower is very real. Not to mention, a branch could get stuck in the blower.

I did shovel out the apron a bit more.

It's reasonably clear for the sun to work some melting magic on it. They did a fairly decent job of uniform compaction. I'll be able to back the Jeep in without a lot of trouble.

There are some soft spots and if I would shovel a bit every day, gradually, I'd get the apron, at least, down to the asphalt where the sun could really melt things. But, the drive is okay right now. There is another storm approaching tomorrow and I'll have to shovel some on Sunday.

This is all that remains of the ash.

I imagine they will have someone come and pick up those large pieces. I kind of wished I'd been here when they took down the tree. I'd have had them take the dead birch that's on the other side of the drive. When I get bids to take my ash tree down, I'll have them add in the birch.

I can't imagine the city will expect me to figure out how to dispose of these logs, but stranger things have happened. I did notice a couple of people stopping last night to grab the smaller pieces on the left. If someone is looking for wood, I guess this is good stuff. I'm going to have all the tree bits hauled away, when I have my tree taken down.

It odd to look out and not see the tree there. Four years ago, it was thriving.

Now, that spot is empty.

Once the birch is removed, I don't think I'll plant another tree. The maple to the left, just out of sight, is huge and has overspread the area. A sapling would compete with it. I'm not looking forward to the clean up come spring either. What a mess they left behind. But, it's gone and we don't have to wonder when it will come down in which heavy spring thunderstorm.

Beverage:  Dunkin' Donuts tea


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