Thursday, June 26, 2008

Tree down, angry neighbor, angrier arborist

I could not wait to get home and see how the yard looked with the tree down and the front trees trimmed. I had a special sweet secret all day that gave me happiness and that was it. I was saving my joy about Prague for the next day.

Taking that tree down was the culmination of years of staring out the window, hating that tree, living in fear that a branch would fall off into the neighbor's yard and cause injury to one of the screaming children who run around the yard.

It looked fantastic. The trees in front trimmed looked regal instead of sad and droopy, half dead and waiting for the final lightening strike. And the yard looked strange, open, you can see the wires above the track more clearly, but I liked it. I was glad to see it gone. I called the Third Generation Arborist to let him know how totally happy I was. Okay, there were a few thorns next to the rose of my happiness: one of my rose bushes had been taken out and put back and looked positively shocked about the experience. Same with an ancient orange blossom bush but still I was happy.

I ran out around 8:45 to get some quart baggies for my trip to Prague. When I came back my neighbor Nancy came out and I said, "isn't it great?" and she said, yeah, but what's not great is what they did to my yard.

Uh Oh.

"They jumped the fence I didn't even know they were coming they scratched my fence and when they dragged the limbs out it dragged out all the gravel from my driveway and it was all over the sidewalk and I've swept and Bill said you know what's going to happen Nancy when I mow I'm going to hit a rock and it could kill one of the kids and they moved the edging from my pond I asked Bill did you move the edging no I didn't he said and you should see the saw dust all over everything I hope that you haven't paid them because Bill's a contractor and he wouldn't pay them he couldn't believe the way they left it and I'm sorry it's Not Your Fault and I know you're leaving tomorrow but I thought you should know and if you haven't paid them..."

She said that she had called him and she said he had told her, "you're barking up the wrong tree lady, pun intended." And that he had a real attitude.

I went inside and called the Third Generation Arborist.

He said that he had done an exceptional job and "between you and me she's overreacting. I'll come over now because I want to get that check."

It's 9:37. I have to pack people.

Highlights of our discussion:

Him: If you don't pay me tonight I will put a lein on your house and by next week we'll have the lawyers at it and it will drag on for months.

Me: I thought you did an excellent job and I just want to be able to get along with my neighbor.

Him: In 15 years no one has not paid me.

Me: I guess not if you keep threatening to put a lein on their houses.

Him: We did not jump the fence, those scratches were there and that edging on the pond was not moved by us.

Me: Here, take your money.

He wrote this out on a piece of paper and gave it to me: I, Third Generation Arborist, will return tomorrow morning between 7:45 and 8:15 and clean up the yard at XXX XXXX Avenue. Signed, Third Generation Arborist.

My trees look great.

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