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November 12, 2009

I mentioned yesterday that I was learning about forestry.  It’s another one of those things I would have never guessed I’d be thinking about, much less blogging about… yay for country living!

Ever since the giant tree branch came crashing down across our driveway a few months ago, I’ve been a bit spooked that the giant tree branches above the house are also going to give way, only this time, they’re going to kill me in my sleep.  I’m going to {partially} blame this new-found fear on my mother, who pretty much said exactly that the first time she visited.  And the second time.  And the third time.  And maybe even a few times on the phone.

(Hi mom!  Thanks for worrying about me dying in my sleep via tree branch through the lungs!  Look, your nagging DOES work!  Love you!)

Anyways.   Since my mom wouldn’t shut up about it I am pretty nervous about the tree branches, I thought we should look into having the trees cut down.  Only, having recently purchased a new heater + heat pump, we don’t really have thousands of dollars laying around to use for tree removal.  I found a nearby forestry company to see if they’d be interested in purchasing the trees from us.  As in, they’d come out, cut down the trees, and then PAY US to take away the lumber, mill it, and sell it for furniture or flooring or whatever else suited their fancy.  It seemed too good to be true.

In fact, it was maybe a little too good to be true.  Instead, we’re working on a compromise where they’ll take the 3 large trees near the house + 20 others scattered around our lot.  Since the three trees nearest the house will be expensive (>$1000 each) for them to remove, they asked to take a few more to make it more worth their while.  Which I understand.  I mean, a guy will have to scale each of the three trees and take them apart piece by piece, and we’re going to have to mess around with some of our landscaping when it’s time to pull the trunks down (that brick wall will get pulled apart before the trunk comes down and then put back together when all is said and done).  And, they’ll still pay us, which is swell.

They want to take the marked trees… which are few and far between.

We fell in love with this property because of the forest and the trees, and I hate for any of it to be taken down or potentially ruined.  On the other hand, I am worried about the big trees near the house falling on us.  And they block the sun from the East side of the house, so things there tend to stay pretty wet and we’re beginning to get moss growth on our siding.  (Which, upon google searching “moss on siding” appears to be not a huge deal, but it is kind of an eyesore).   And I know that thinning out your old growth is supposed to be good for your forest anyways, as it allows the younger trees some room and sunlight to grow.  So I think we might go with it and have the foresters come out to do their thing.  I wonder, though, what would you do?  Has anyone had experience with these forestry-type things?

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Karen permalink
    November 12, 2009 11:19 am

    I feel your pain. Tree removal is exborbitantly expensive–I have a few towering Ponderosa pine trees in my “yard” that I would love to have come down and I also have acreage that could be cut, but I live on that acreage because of the trees. So-o-o, here are a couple of suggestions:

    1) get the opinion on the health of the trees from a certified arborist; and/or 2) contact your county conservation district. They can advise you concerning the forest thinning issue. Google “[county name] County conservation district.” Here is the description from one county’s site.

    “The Washtenaw County Conservation District is a local agency of Michigan state government that assists Washtenaw County landowners and residents with the conservation and management of their natural resources.”

    I highly recommend them–I’ve consulted my CCD on numerous occasions, including doing a wildfire assessment. They are really a great resource. Good luck!

    • November 12, 2009 11:44 am

      Thanks for the suggestion, Karen – we’ll definitely have to look into that!

  2. November 12, 2009 2:27 pm

    O goodness! I have the same fears as you! The trees in my backyard scare me, but I LOVE them! I don’t really have any suggestions though. Sounds like you are on the right path.

  3. Debbie permalink
    November 12, 2009 6:51 pm

    Been there, done that! We used to have three trees in front of our living room window which I was sure were going to one day , kill Jason & Kevin in their sleep(since their room was right there in front). We had an ice storm one time and the trees were bent completely over and covered the whole front lawn(which I know is not THAT large but had they gone the other way…. your husband may or may not be here now.
    If you’re really worried and you can get them taken out without paying someone I say go for it. Good luck!

  4. GGG permalink
    November 12, 2009 7:08 pm

    call Uncle Doug. He loves to cut down trees:)

  5. November 12, 2009 10:21 pm

    Ha I could have written this post! Well at least part of it. In the process of clearing out a spot for our fenced in dog yard (in involved cutting down quite a few trees in itself) we found that a big tree in our yard had cracked at some point. It’s leaning toward the house and we’re hoping we can cut it down before winter. We’re looking into renting/borrowing a cherry picker or just cutting it down piece by piece with a ladder. There are also 2 or 3 other trees farther away from the house but close to the fence that need to be cut down…

    Anyway my parents had their 10 acres of pine trees thinned out a couple years ago. It desperately needed it the trees were 150′ tall and 15″ in diameter! They weren’t paid very much for the trees and the machines made a huge mess. It turned out to be more work for them to fix the holes they cut in the wire fence and to try to even out the property again.

    I agree that you should have someone come out and check the health of your trees before you decide. Most of those trees look like oaks which are pretty slow growing. It will take them a long time for the young trees to get that big. Just my thoughts.

    Let us know what you decide!

    • November 12, 2009 11:57 pm

      Thanks, Robin. My biggest fear is that they’d come in here and tear everything up… It should be easy enough for them to get the trees out of the front yard – the electric company was out earlier this year destroying everything around the power lines in an effort to reduce power outages in our area (we’ve still had 2 power outages since… not looking forward to snow!). I would really hate for them to destroy our grassy yard area or the forest. These guys assured me that they would not destroy anything, and if anything was ripped up, they’d fix it… but still… you just never know…

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