Monday, November 07, 2005


My crape myrtles have been crape murdered. Yesterday, there was a tree service working just uphill of my north pasture, on my neighbor's property. They were there all day, so I naturally assumed that my neighbors were having tree work done. They were cutting and grinding, and driving my dogs nuts.

Well, apparently the dogs got acclimated to the "Fargo"-reminiscent noise of the wood chipper going at full force, because they did not sound the alarm as the tree-murderers came up my own driveway, until they were actually IN MY YARD. I peeked through my blinds and saw my driveway crawling with strange men and two huge, dangerous-looking, noisy trucks, and just lost. my. um...stuff. Called my husband, called my mom...most certainly gave my mother the distinct impression that I am a incurable lunatic, since 6 months ago I'd have been out there, pajama pants or no, demanding of the Testosterone Tree Crew, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO MY TREES WHICH ARE ONLY SUPPOSED TO BE PRUNED IN FEBRUARY? AND ON THAT POINT, DO YOU KNOW THE DEFINITION OF PRUNED?!?" As it was, I hid in the house, on the verge of tears and peeking through my blinds until the crew got a comfortable distance down the driveway and I was able to sneak out and take some pictures (Alex had ascertained by this point that the tree service had been contracted by the electric co-op and was cutting trees in our part of the county for routine power-line preventive maintenance, and that there was nothing to be done about it):

From my clever vantage-point, hiding behind the front-yard birdfeeder and using the zoom...

The truck of tree-death. I think I heard them screaming above the din of the chipper.

As they packed up and moved out, I just stood there dumbstruck at the devastation. It was a true "shock and awe" campaign. In short, this morning the driveway up to my yard/house looked like this (well, with only a few blooms left--it is November now):

And this afternoon, I have this:

Lovely, no? Anyway, the moral of the story is this: Watch what you complain about. Oh, well, I guess it could have been worse.


  1. oh no! tree murderers! what a shame!! at least they'll grow back, right?

  2. I just don't know what to say. Can they just drive onto private property and destroy hundreds (or thousands) of dollars worth of trees and there are no consequences? That would NEVER happen here, which is why we have so many trees downed during storms, trees that take out the power lines with them. There is no way the electric co could come on our property and trim the trees. None. I'm astonished that this is legal.

  3. Yes. In most places, when you buy property, it is in your deed that the public utilities "own" easements on your property in any area that involves access to their equipment. That means electric, water, phone, etc. So they absolutely can do that. When we called today to check, they quoted us the rule, and it says that the tops of any trees must be at least 15 FEET from the wires. Which means for the 9 years I've been here, my crapes have been violating all over the place! They did say that it was very unusual to hear of crape myrtles being cut for power lines.

    We're hoping that these will be OK, especially since we'd maybe like to sell this house next spring! The "correct" time to cut back crapes (and you can absolutely do it that severely) is in February, so that it will bloom on the new growth. I don't know what happens if you hack them before it gets cold.

    We had actually received notice that the co-op would be trimming trees in our part of the county several weeks ago, but I was thinking along the road, you know? Didn't take our 250-foot driveway into account.

    This is why, when you're house shopping, and you see the notation, "all utilities underground," it's a GOOD thing!

  4. omigod... I would have just freaked.

    that's horrible.


  5. oh God that last picture had me smile (and squirrels are my college's mascot, how sick am I?!).
    Sorry about the trees, hopefully they will grow back quickly.

  6. They do that on Long Island too. Or rather cut down whole trees for whatever reasons, and then make the homeowner who had no say in it, buy new ones, which makes no sense and can be rather pricey--when you want the trees to look as old as the house ;-)

    Your trees were so beautiful

  7. Your poor trees. Serious butchery there.

    Although I was getting a giggle picturing you slinking around, all under cover.

  8. Yes, Pat, I'm sure I was quite the covert operative out there in my bright yellow t-shirt red Razorback jammie pants with my camera. It's times like this that cause my loving husband to say, in his sarcastic Barry White voice (can you imagine?), "Baby, you move like a cat."

    Gotta love him. Well, to keep from choking him.