Sunday, August 26, 2007

How we spent $2200...

If you've been following Magnus Patris, you know about our recent tree woes. Here's a link for you to catch up: Tree House

The arborist who arrived last Friday confirmed our fear. The tree had to come down. It was at least 100 feet tall, had been crowned poorly years ago, there was a nest of Japanese Hornets about 40 feet up, and it was probably hollow in the center. One good storm, and that puppy would crack in half, and the half following the law of gravity would land either on our house or our neighbors. He'd get rid of it for $2500, but first we had to get rid of the hornets.

Our pest service is always very responsive, and this time was no exception. They were johnny-on-the-spot, and dropped by an hour after the call. Yep, we had a hornets nest. A pretty big one (why we never noticed it before, I have no idea... except that it was 40 feet up the tree). He didn't have a tall enough ladder, but could get one the next day and dispatch the hornets for us. For $455.

That night, we kept hearing 'plink, plinks' against our french doors. We flicked on the deck lights and underneath the soffit were a handful of HUGE hornets (2 inches long, I think. I swear, they were THIS BIG). They must have known their number was almost up.

A few days later, our contractor came by to look at the deck steps. We still have some leftover Trex material, and we were hoping that he could fix them for little $$. Brian's a great guy, and not only did he recommend we call his tree guy (who saved us $700), but he's going to fix the steps gratis. Mike's going to build him a web page in exchange. Whew! (Or at least, as much of a 'whew' as I can muster for being $2200 lighter in the pocket).

Here are some photos:

About 6 feet above the nest:

At the nest:

20 feet below the nest:

I shudder when I think about what could have happened had we left that tree much longer. Last weekend was spent anxiously looking to the skies, praying for good weather. This weekend, we had massive thunderstorms last night, but without that tree I actually enjoyed them. Before the rain, Clay and Drew went out on the deck with Mike, counting the time between lightning and thunder. It was a beautiful storm.

p.s. We've gotten a lot of helpful suggestions about less expensive ways of removal. Insurance? Well, they only pay for damage to the house. And we had a $5,000 deductible. Plus, in our experience, calling homeowner's insurance for small repairs can flag you as a problem client, and we didn't want to get cancelled. Which is why our deductible was so high. We've since asked for the a lower one.

Wait until the first frost and the hornets would be leave: we're not that lucky. Sure, the hornets would be gone, but there's still 2 months before the first frost. The tree had already dropped a massive branch. We weren't willing to gamble that it would stay intact (and our property undamaged) for the next few months. In my opinion, that branch was God's way of sending us a big ole' message. We listened.

1 comment:

Mike said...

Actually it was $2245!