Monday, July 23, 2018

Monday: Tree Trimming On the First Day of Pre-Retirement Vacation

Last night/early this morning, true to our night owl nature, daughter and I went to bed at 4:30 a.m.!  LOL!

The sound of the tree trimmers using their chainsaws on my neighbor's tree woke me just before 7:30 a.m.  Not a problem since I had been expecting them.   Daughter said she just turned over and went back to sleep!  I, however, got up, brushed my teeth, washed my face, and got dressed!  Then, I went outside to talk to the tree trimmers.  They were from the same tree trimming service my gardener friend M had recommended (they trim his trees, as well).  It's a family owned business, according to M.  The two men who were out were the workers; I spoke to the boss and asked for an estimate, and after speaking to his workers, he quoted $500 to trim my eucalyptus tree:

Prior to Trimming

I had expected it to be around $700, at least (which was based on an earlier quote I received from someone else, several years ago).  Neighbor T had told me she had received three estimates and these people were the cheapest.    I decided to go with them, partly because they did a good job on my neighbor's tree, they came recommended by friend M, their equipment was already here, and the workers could start right away, as soon as they had finished trimming neighbor T's tree.

Another look from the other side

I also knew that if I postponed it to get another estimate, I might take another 6 months to get to it!  How long have I been talking about getting this tree trimmed?  Seemed to me that all the stars were aligned and it was a good time to take action!

Trimming in Progress at 9:00 a.m.
It was team work: one guy did the trimming; the other guy pulled the branches to the shredder:

Branches waiting to be shredded

I offered them bottles of water before they started their work and, again, about half way through; they were very grateful for the water.

It was already quite hot, outside

I'm glad I'm getting it done now, before I planted any new plants that might have got damaged when branches came down:

More felled branches

They trimmed my neighbor's tree in about one hour.  They took about one and a half hours to trim my tree.  Afterwards, they fed all the branches through the shredder, raked, very briefly watered the front garden to control the dust, and used a leaf blower to remove the last of the debris.  By 10:30 a.m., they were done!

After the Trimming, taken at 10:15 a.m.

That's one big task crossed off my long-term do to list!    Now I won't have to peer anxiously out the front window every time there is a big wind storm!  At least, not for another couple of years, I hope!

Later in the morning, I did a load of dishes in the dishwasher and washed a few additional items by hand.  Then, I had a slice of toast with a scrambled egg for brunch.  Cousin P called and we chatted a bit.  She said she had gone to visit cousin V (the mother of the groom), last night, and cousin V had sent another couple of pieces of boxed wedding cake for me (she had ordered extra cake).  Cousin P said she'll come over later to give me the cake.

In the afternoon, I felt sleepy and took a long nap!  From about 1:30 p.m. till 5:30 p.m.  I slept longer during my nap than I did during the night!  Daughter and I had tea after I woke up and then, I took a shower to cool off.

My cousin in Florida had called and left a message on Saturday, so I called him back and chatted with him for a bit.  This cousin had been an engineer with the New York Port Authority and was working in the World Trade Center Tower 1 when it was attacked on 9/11; there was a picture of him in one of the newspapers, covered in ash as he made his way out of the devastation, that day.  I promised to come and see him and his wife one of these days, since I am now retired and have time to travel.

Afterwards, daughter and I went grocery shopping (we needed milk, instant coffee, bar soap, shampoo and conditioner) and we treated ourselves to a rotisserie chicken for dinner.  Daughter put away the groceries for me while I took the trash cans to the curb, collected today's mail from the mail box, and turned the sprinklers on at the back.  I will do a separate grocery post, although I don't have any pictures; I need to go through the receipt to separate out the grocery items (milk, beef, salad dressing, frozen tamales, frozen prepared chicken, the rotisserie chicken, instant coffee, and walnut pastries) from the non-grocery items (cat food, conditioner, bar soap; they didn't have the shampoo).  Altogether, I spent $64 at the store!

I cooked a box of macaroni and cheese and sauteed a zucchini to accompany the rotisserie chicken for dinner.  After dinner, I emptied the dishwasher and hand washed the day's dishes and the pans.  This time, I remembered to put on a pair of rubber gloves while doing the dishes, to preserve my manicure!  In the morning, when I was pre-rinsing the dishes prior to putting them in the dishwasher, I forgot to wear rubber gloves!

Today, I am grateful for:
- Being able to get the eucalyptus tree trimmed, finally!
- A productive first day of vacation
- Afternoon naps
- Daughter's company
- Cousins who call

Plans for tomorrow include:
- watering the front garden
- bringing the trash cans in
- doing a little more grocery shopping
- buying a card for Saturday's wedding
- getting a gift for Saturday's wedding
- unpacking from the weekend's trip
- laundry
- vacuuming the spot where the oil lamp sits
- setting up the oil lamp (it was taken apart for transporting to the wedding venue and back)

How was your Monday?  Have you had tree trimmers trim your trees? 


  1. Just the other day an unsolicited tree trimmer came an asked if I want the oak tree in the backyard trimmed. He quoted $400. I am going to get several quotes and who ever I hire they must be bonded and insured.

    If your cousin lives in my part of FL, perhaps we can meet when you come to visit him. 😀

    1. Nil, yes, get several quotes and make sure they are licensed, etc. I was lazy in that I went with someone who was recommended and my neighbor said was the cheapest quote she received, partly because their quote was less than what I had been expecting and because they were horticulturists, bonded, licensed, etc.

      My cousin lives in the Jacksonville area, in a new development. I will certainly let you know if I am coming. It would be lovely to meet, I think. :)

  2. It's very interesting to see what a eucalyptus tree looks like because we don't have them around here. That's a tall tree. Do you know how old it is?

    1. I planted the tree in early 1992. So, it is 26 years old. Actually, I planted 2 of them in the front, but the other one died that first summer. This is the first time I've trimmed it, and I've been intending to do so for at least the past 5 years! I wanted the trimmers to take a little more off the top (they took about 5 feet off), but they told me it might be too harmful to the tree and it might die. I think they just didn't want to do the extra work! LOL. But I am pleased with the amount of trimming they did do. Maybe, the next time I get it trimmed, I'll ask them to shorten the tree a bit more.

  3. What a difference! I'm happy for you that it was cheaper than you thought and that they could do it right away, what a weight off your shoulders now. Great way to start your vacation/pre-retirement!

    1. My gardener was assuring me that it was worth every penny. I figured it would be cheaper than having a branch break and fall down on my neighbor's RV that seems to be permanently parked in front of my house and getting sued for property damage due to neglect! It was something I had been wanting to do and the time was right to get it done. I'm glad I get to cross that item off the procrastination list! :D

  4. A very productive and positive start to your retirement Bless :) We had a tree trimmed last year and it always amazes me how a 'small' branch seems to quadruple in size when it's on the ground.

    Is that your neighbours trailer still parked on the street that you were talking about several months ago. It looks like it's blocking a big chunk of you view. xx

    1. Thank you, Suzanne. I am feeling very pleased about getting the tree trimmed on the very first day - makes me feel very productive! :D Yes, that is the same trailer, parked outside my house! They move it around, occasionally, but it always comes back to that spot! I realize it is because they are then parked closest to their house (although, parking in front of their own house would be better, in my opinion!). I don't mind as long as they are not blocking my driveway and they've been good about that after I complained. :)

  5. Happy first week of not working! Nothing like an unexpected bargain tree trimming and a long nap! Enjoy the rest of your daughter's visit and do dang well what you want to, even if it is at 3 am.

    1. Thank you, Anne! I think I can get used to this lifestyle very quickly! :D

  6. How useful to get the tree trimmed right away. It must make you feel you are getting organized in your retirement!

    We had a very large white pine cut down last year. It was towering over the woodshed and very close to the house as well, and DH felt it was a risk to both in a windstorm. It was very interesting to watch the man with the chainsaw high up in the cherry picker, lopping branches and dropping them to the ground. We ended up with a lot of logs and a massive pile of brush which DH managed to deal with using his own chainsaw. There were lots of cones which I collected into piles for the squirrels to hoard!

    1. Getting the tree trimmed had been on my Master To Do list for a long time! I just kept putting it off, so, when the guys showed up to do my neighbor's tree, I decided the time was right! Makes me feel good to have that done and crossed off the list! I have a pine tree at the back that needs a trimming, too; but I am going to see if my gardener can help with that. I had a dead tree in the backyard when I bought the house - I cut it down, myself, with a borrowed chainsaw! But that was more than 20 years ago. My daughter doesn't want me climbing ladders to trim any trees, these days! LOL.


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