Minus one tree

We’re minus a tree in the back yard. Those of you who were here for the mulberry angst probably think you know where this is going, but you’re wrong. The mulberry is alive and well. The other tree not so much.

I don’t even know what The Other Tree is because it has received so little attention. In fact, this picture from the fence building is the best shot of it. You can kind of tell that it was a huge tree with dual trunks and a bit of an ivy problem. Really, it wasn’t a pretty specimen.


Unfortunately for The Other Tree, it was also near the power lines. We were not shocked when we received a letter from Ameren stating that a crew would be by to trim the tree away from the lines.

I’m not sure what dictionary they are using, but their definition of “trim” is not the same as mine. Based on what they did to this tree, I think mangle, destroy or kill would have been better choices.


It’s certainly not touching those power lines anymore… it’s also basically a giant stump.


I also find it very ironic that one of the branches they chose to leave is still touching lines (albeit phone lines).

I’m no tree expert, but I’m pretty sure trees need leaves to live. That’s just basic science.

Like any crazy part Sicilian responsible homeowner, I promptly called Ameren to yell at someone express my displeasure and request that they finish the job of taking down this tree. To my complete surprise, the forestry division returned my call a few days later and offered to cut the tree down. They even offered to chop it into firewood. I was elated! Not only would we get some free tree service, but we’d get a bunch of wood just in time for prime fire pit weather! Win/win!


We got about half of that.


Once again, their definition of a word seems to vastly different than… anyone else’s who speaks English.


This “firewood” is not going to fit in our fire pit.


So it’s more like a win/meh. On the plus side, The Other Tree turned out to have some serious rot in the trunk. We probably would have had to pay someone to take it down next year. On the meh side, the tree is basically Humpty Dumpty-d next to our fence until we can borrow/rent a chainsaw… and an axe…

I’m still a little shocked they agreed to take it down. Has anyone else had a run in with the power company’s forestry division?

  1. Wow – I thought the utility companies in Orlando did a hack job on trees – unfortunately you win that battle.

    At least you were able to get them to come back out and take it the rest of the way down – tree work is expensive! Hopefully you can get it cut into more reasonable sized pieces and properly stacked before too long. Did they leave you much of a stump to deal with or is it under the pile and you can’t tell yet? We never had any luck with the chemicals that are supposed to speed the decay of a stump – always had to eventually call someone to grind it down.

    1. Yeah, I’m really glad they came back out. They still had a crew working in the area, so I’m sure that helped.

      I think they left us with a stump, but I didn’t crawl into the pile yet. Thanks for the tip on the chemicals.

  2. Your story made me both sad and angry. When we lived in our house we had neighbors who had to take down three trees that were touching our house because their side was basically dead from being struck by lightening. The shock of the absence of leaves, no matter how necessary or useful, was intense, coupled with the 35 bags of leaves/debris that WE had to clean up out of our yard (they had no access to the trees but directly through our side yard). Lucky for us they removed all the beefiest bits (the neighbors actually owned a tree service company), but it was no small task. Needless to say we waited until the following year to re-do the yard. I’m so glad we hadn’t done it before.

    Utility companies are so inconsistent. I bet you on another day you would have gotten a different answer/result.

    Rent some equipment, call some friends, order a keg. Make it worth their while.

    1. I’m glad we were coming around to keeping the mulberry because the loss of the tree (and some of the brush that was arond the base) has been a bit shocking. We feel very exposed and Aaron is particularly bothered by it.

      Ha! I’m not sure a chainsaw and keg is a combination I want to see play out 😉

  3. Nothing makes me more upset than seeing trees destroyed by the “trimming” around power lines. Argh! If a tree is dead and it needs to come down, fine. But those hack jobs the utility companies do just make those poor trees ugly and sad. A shame, too…we have such beautiful old trees around us and those lines just ruin the visual and overall feeling.

    1. I was so livid when I came home. The only consolation is the trunk was severely rotted. It clearly wasn’t long for this world.

  4. This is so crazy! When the city took down (and replaced) one of our trees they did it so nicely! Heck the even repaired the sidewalk where the tree roots had pushed it up.

    1. I guess the city cares more than the electric company? Also this is on the alley side, so maybe that is a knock against it too? I’m so glad you had a better experience!

  5. […] spring, we attended the St Louis Home Show hoping to find a good deal on a replacement tree for the one that was felled by the electric company (no dice) and looking for a window company to create some custom windows we have in mind for the […]

  6. i know it’s way late on this, but when a tree company “cuts into firewood” the standard here (in western washington) is to buck it (cut) into 16″ long “rounds,” and looks like that’s what they did. we have half an acre and have been taking down dying cedars over the last 15yrs, and every time we end up with a pile like you have, which we then have to split (after curing for 6mos-1yr) into firewood.

    1. Ha! That is exactly what they did 🙂

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