Naughty Neighbors and Tree-Cutters —- I think, NOT!

Any long-term visitors to my blogcasa know I seldom write about my daily life concerns. Well, yes, there have been posts about food items like the chocolate banana tortillas –btw, at 3:17 am I discovered these are great with flaked coconut too instead of the fresh sliced fruit–and pumpkin cakes. But I generally steer far away from my mundane immediate context unless it inspires some humor that might tickle someone else’s fancy — besides my own funny bones.  Today there will be a deviation from that norm. I desire a venue to vent. A full-blown rant to be honest is what I’d really like to indulge in–complete with much foot stomping and turning on the garden hose full blast. The birds and squirrels won’t mind the latter, but the neighbors might when it drowns their weird expensive ‘grass’ which needs more attention than a newborn baby with a bad case of whooping-cough.  If I had a newborn to prod into whooping, I would, all night long. While wearing earplugs, of course. Get where this is going yet? Hmm?  What am I miffed about? The trees.  ‘My’ trees. The trees that are currently mature enough to provide enough shade that they’re cooling about a quarter acre of land so nicely that it’s ten to twenty degrees cooler in the extensive shade than it is in the direct sun on a hot day. That’s sweet relief when the temperature kicks up to 100+ degrees farenheit with humidity chugging up the oxygen. When nature is cooling your home for nothing but having the space to exist instead of the electric company, what’s the downside? Oh, well, yes, there are leaves and dead branches that fall to the ground when their time comes.  In my mind this is nothing to ‘pay’ for all the benefits.

About those benefits. Hmm. Me, the human gets a nice cool abode from the tree shade.  The birds seem to enjoy nesting, roosting and courting among the trees.  The robins eat a lot of bugs. We’ve had owls, woodpeckers, and squirrels make their homes in the trees as they’ve grown over the years.  Most of the trees are volunteers. Like the Mulberry tree that first appeared compliments of some bird or other critter’s digestive tract. Noticing the leaves and realizing it was indeed a fruit bearing tree, I managed to fence it off from the lawn (not) mowing junkie among my legal relatives. Some habits never die–bah.  The same for the Black Walnut trees, the Maple trees, and the Elms. The two Poplars I planted were small ‘gifts.’  A Weeping Willow was a cutting present from an old fellow down the street. A small Pine tree came from some odd fast food place’s Arbor Day alliance.  Over time the fescue has been replaced by a variety of local native plants including wild strawberries, dandelions (you can eat all of this plant except for the seeds–it’s packed with nutrition to the max), lamb’s quarter and clover that the bees adored, when there were bees around to adore it.  Bees are scare this summer.

Take note that this abode was chosen in part for the quarter acre space it provided for a rescued puppy with grew to be considerably LARGER than anyone expected–part bird dog and part St. Bernard (vet’s best guess)-. She needed room to run and she got it.  There were only four trees on the property when we arrived. They provided little relief from the summer sun. Now there are over thirty trees which allow the squirrels nesting in them to traverse upstairs from this yard to several others via the upstairs tree branch highway.

Now, while all this shade is not conducive to growing veggies or lovely flowers that thrive in sunshine–it has plenty to offer in its own way. I rather like the tiny forest around this silly little house.  So does the local wildlife. Most of the humans nearby have no issues with it.

But–apparently my extremely neat minded neighbors do not appreciate the shade that cools part of their home for nada effort on their part.  The other morning I awoke to the sound of chainsaws gleefully working their way upwards on the south side of one of the large Elms.  Tree cutters don’t come cheap here. Take note that the city tree trimmers had just last week worked their way up and down the street dealing with any limbs that might prove dangerous to the electrical wires. They left the Elms in the front yard ALONE because they posed no hazards to wires or passing vehicles.  There were no dead limbs lurking in wait to assault passersby. No one parks on this street.  Yet, my neighbors apparently live in dire fear of said limbs clobbering their car –which is usually parked inside a garage. Hence the reason they hired some tree-cutters to do  a little trimming. Hmm. Interesting monetary output from people who complained bitterly when the yearly education tax was increased to the point of adding an extra one hundred dollars to their bill. Supporting schools pisses them off, but cutting trees for much more than one hundred dollars is something they’ll willingly dish out cash for. I’m at a loss to comprehend this logic.

Now, I would understand this outlay IF the trees were posing any sort of hazard to anyone’s health and well-being, if they were diseased, dead, rotting, or head hazards when walking under them. But we’re talking head clearance, healthy and tree rot free trees here, folks.

So when aforementioned chainsaws disrupted my morning, the tree cutters and I had a little meet and greet. They were oddly sheepish for hired hands. They were extremely subdued for guys who’d been told it was all a-okay to chop away as they pleased by the folks who’d paid them.  They ceased and desisted when I pointed out that they were now cutting branches well above any height required for even the trash trucks to clear while they made their way down the street.  We did not argue. No, not the tree-cutters and I. Nor did my neighbor when I greeted him. He just glared. Oops, did I catch you red-handed at something naughty? I must have because the chainsaws went away pretty damn fast with just me and my cup of green tea putting in an unwanted appearance in my dandelion farm under the Elms.

Comments? Questions? Funny Stories? All are welcome.

I feel so much better. Time for a chocolate-coconut whole wheat tortilla taco and maybe some fresh black coffee. Hmm. Yep. I think so.  I’ll going to enjoy them outside in the shade while watching the resident sparrows take their afternoon baths in between sunflower seed snacks.

Arbor Day Foundation



  1. lesliepaints said,

    August 15, 2013 at 3:00 am

    Good for you. Wish I had more trees. I’ve planted four. but still get hit by summer sun. One gets ash bore juice to save it’s life from what has hit our city. One, I’ve been told is a trash tree (river birch it is). He is fragile looking, looses his leaves first but has the coolest curly bark and whispers when the wind blows. We need more trees. We’ve lost so many. Good for you, Eva!

    • August 15, 2013 at 3:59 am

      LOL–thank you, Leslie. One thing perhaps I ought to have mentioned in my vent is that ever since occupying this abode the neighbors kept asking us to cut down the mature Elm trees. And they continue to ask this. When I inquire as to their reasoning it simply runs to something will fall on our car or on the driveway. Oh my. Well, there are other trees on this street and they have a tree in their yard that they have’t cut down. So it’s a bit of quirkiness that I have never understood.
      We have lost many many trees in this areas to some very badly done apartment construction in an area that floods because it’s in low laying land with a creek running through it. Whose bright idea to build there–well, I’m not mentioning it. Who says humans are the brightest lights in the brain game hasn’t considered such folks.
      LOL, what a silly I am today going on about this! Cheers to your trash tree–LONG may it thrive!

  2. August 15, 2013 at 8:59 am

    one day such people will place plastic trees in their flat garden covered in plastic lawn :/

    • August 15, 2013 at 1:49 pm

      I believe you’ve hit the mark, Iabellestudio. They’ve already pretty got a plastic lawn of sort with their grass. No dandelions or anything else EVER pops up in that lawn. Something is just not right about that. Maybe it is part plastic? A GMO sort of sod maybe. Hmm.
      Hi. I hope you’ve been crazy storm free since the last one whirled through.

      • August 16, 2013 at 8:49 am

        We have had one more storm about three days after the one mentioned. It was not so bad though. Thank you for asking. People like those you describe are here too, and absolutely hermetic to any ecological progress. Across the yard lives a very old couple (btw real nazis from the 2nd WW and yes the man administered the “prisoners”).. go figure… they belong to this kind of gardeners. Pesticides, herbicides, cut everything, rip it off, Blah! :/ As you can see this does make me angry. Sorry.

      • August 16, 2013 at 1:52 pm

        No need for any “sorrys” here labellestudio. Oh no. This IS the rant/vent place, oh yeah. The irony is that all the people using the pesticides and herbicids are also kiling themselves–not just the plants and bugs! As for your neighbors with the dark history–O my, now there’s some walking talking WW2 history that’s darn scary whne it comes to human “nature”.

  3. MisBehaved Woman said,

    August 15, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    Do we share neighbors by some chance?! Oh wait…no mini-forests here in the desert…just a neighbor that is hell-bent on chopping up/chopping down the ONLY standing tree on my property! The jerk even went so far as to go behind my back and try to get the landlord to hire him for the tree murder…oops, landlord is my Dad, sorry buddy…no murder-for-hire here!

    Good, good…no, GREAT for you for standing up to the chainsaw men and evil plot to down your trees. Trees everywhere are cheering, I’m sure..!

    • August 16, 2013 at 1:37 pm

      What is with these tree-haters? Murder for hire is right!
      Well, the trees here are happy–except for the mutilated Elem- and the squirrels who’ve had to reroute themselves considerably higher to complete their highway connection from it to other trees.
      The other strange thing the murderers for hire did–directed by the neighbors– was to go down the property lines, with a ladder, and trim limbs from other trees that had branched out into their air space in the back yard where there’s nothing to fall upon except the zzz grass. Take note: they did NOT trim the branches off the neighbor’s pretty little Japanese Maples extending INto other yards. Nope. Just the limbs of trees in the yards surround theirs on three sidess. Well, mainly two other yards.
      Lucky you with Dad as landlord not allowing such bs!!! Kewpie Man Rules!

  4. Meg said,

    August 15, 2013 at 11:30 pm

    so annoyed for you,

    in my excursion into the north woods of NY recently i was carrying on about the trees in all the parking lots, lines of them down the center of every fourth row. my friends daughter thought i was overly exuberant, but they car was cool and in the shade while we ran our errands. it was lovely.

    i was frustrated and annoyed when they cut down a handful of small shade trees in a side parking lot of one of the malls, apparently they want to sell the mall, i guess the trees were offensive to the realtor?

    people are willfully ignorant though no?

    • August 16, 2013 at 1:40 pm

      Parking lot trees–where does everyone want to park on a hot day? In the shade of those Parking lot trees.
      People are willfully dysfunction in this regard. I have no idea what’s going on, Meg. Tree genocide? Hmm, Yeah, I think a case can be made for that all things Earth considered.

  5. August 16, 2013 at 7:24 am

    that was a great thing to do! bravo! I wish we had such law down here

    • August 16, 2013 at 1:41 pm

      Pretty small in the ‘great’ degree—but necessary in this tiny tiny piece of the planet. Hello. O btw, are you still getting ads plasted all over your blog?

  6. Brad said,

    August 16, 2013 at 10:21 am

    One of my neighbours at work parks his car in my allotted car space. When I raised this with him he complained that the tree growing over his allotted space keeps dropping flowers on his car. Ummm……..

    • August 16, 2013 at 1:47 pm

      So do you park and receive the bounty of flowers in his space? Someone here planted very lovely flowering trees around the ‘town square’ and many people were annoyed with those flowers too. So your neighbour has plenty of company. They also complained that birds frequented the trees and shat upon their vehicles. The city responded by putting netting over every tree in order to keep out the birds and prevent the flowers and leaves from droppng onto autos. I kid you not. The next step was removing all the trees.
      Can you poem that, Brad? I’m sure you CAN!

      • Brad said,

        August 17, 2013 at 6:29 am

        “That was my egg, you bastard!” [the face beneath the helmeted head] screamed, punching the nose. “With soldiers!” (Terry Pratchett: Night Watch).

        Vincent has seen all sorts of flora and fauna deposit stuff on him over the years, including some of this year’s crop of the lovely yellow acacia flowers that my good neighbour prefers to protect his car’s paint-job from. Vincent’s even seen a butcherbird come sit on his open window frame beside me, touch the interior vinyl door trim with one of its claws, and read a bit of Terry Pratchett’s ‘Discworld’ with me. We were out in the full sun that day. I had my sunnies and Akubra hat on for my own protection, and I could have fried an egg on any part of Vincent’s duco without so much as a peep of complaint from him.

        Next time I see my good neighbour parking in my allotted space I might just tell him that story, while juggling three chook eggs in one hand. That ought to fix him! If it doesn’t, at least I can pome it.

      • August 17, 2013 at 8:06 am

        Eggies on a HOT day–O yeah!
        Hellooooooo Pratchett fan! Welcome! Welcome–and Vincent and butcherbird too.
        Hi Brad. I hear you are here.

  7. August 17, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    Challenging the “tree cutters” and “monoculturists” needs to happen more often. I “know” your type of neighbors and they want to control everything around them while they sit in their homes being un-neighborly watching television. A mature tree is like having 20 air conditioners running simultaneously. All their herbicides and fertilizer are running off the land and doing harm in places out of sight and mind. What has happened to people? When you look at photographs of people’s “yards” in the late 19th and early 20th centuries…they are full of all kinds of plant life. How and why did we become so obsessed with maintaining a lawn and trying to bend nature to our wills?

    • August 17, 2013 at 7:41 pm

      “Control” is the operative word in my mind, Al. I think you hit that nail hard.
      The lawn thing baffles me too!
      Agreed on all accounts.

  8. August 25, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    I feel your pain. We have a neighbor like this – claims the trees and bushes between our properties are all on her property – which I’m not convinced of – and was thinking of cutting down this one 100+ year old, over 70′ tall, blue spruce because a major bough was hanging over the vehicles in their driveway. What? (It goes beyond that – just too long to relate). Fortunately, she would never spend the money to cut down an entire tree and ended up only cutting the one bough mentioned which was really all that needed being done anyway! A couple years ago because of some dead, hanging branches over this side, we hired a certified arborist who climbed the entire tree, advising of which branches truly needed to be removed. That made us happy. There are so many magnificent trees in our area – why remove anything that doesn’t have to go? (And Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc out this way on that count.)
    People just get crazy over this stuff and make decisions not based on anything beyond their immediate thought.

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