No luck today finding any skilled amateurs to deal with my fallen tree problem. My friends with the chain saw seem to be out of phone contact; there's a good chance they still have no power. My neighbor Jim East* asked at work about a chain saw he knows of, but it's broken.
Last night, while I was at choir, he was over here with his Saws-All, cutting more of the smaller branches off. "I was hoping I could do enough to get them off the fence so I could pick it up for you."
But as he worked, he said, he heard an ominous creaking from up in the tree where the two severed limbs are supported only by a branch about 1-1/2" in diameter. Meanwhile, his four-year-old and the six-year-old twins from across the street were running back and forth between his yard and mine. Nope, the piece of fence wasn't getting righted last night!
And anyway, the Saws-All blade broke, and he didn't have a spare.
So . . . the tree surgeon called me back this afternoon. He gave me a price that isn't wonderful, but seems reasonable considering it's not that much more than he charged me in June of 2004 when another limb of the same tree came down and took out a portion of the fence . . . You have to consider the higher price of gas, at the very least. I got him to come down a bit by leaving out the small branches we cut down yesterday: I still want to grind them up for mulch.
But you see, I did not get additional bids. I told this guy to come round and do it tomorrow morning. It'd take me to the end of the week to get callbacks from other arborists, everyone is still so busy, and by that time, those branches could come down and go through my porch roof.
At least, that's my reasoning.
And by hiring it done, I'm not running the risk of some friend of mine getting brained by an errant tree limb while he's doing the chainsaw polka with it. If anyone is going to be brained in the process, let it be the professionals with their own insurance.
But of course, I want no one brained at all. Not the tree surgeon, not the kid next door, not my dog, not me. Easy to say I can't afford to pay to have it done professionally, but can I afford not to? And as soon as possible?
That's what I'm telling myself-- if I'm not just copping out.