We have/had a tall birch tree that I just loved. Even though it left a mess twice a year, it was still a beautiful tree. But slowly it was becoming a mess. Branches breaking off, branches dying back. Finally, this spring, we realized it was completely dead.

The tree leans towards the house, so there’s concern that it could snap or fall into the house. And it would not be an easy tree for us to take down ourselves, for the aforementioned reason, but also because it is only 2′ away from the gazebo we just re-roofed last year, and there’s no clear path to fall the tree.

We contacted five local companies and asked for bids for the complete job (removal, clean-up and stump grinding) and also for a basic “cut down the tree and we will clean up” price.

Lucky for one company, he called me yesterday and said he had an opening for today and if I took it, he’d knock $50 off his quote.  I asked for $75 off and he said yes!  (See, it never hurts to ask!).  The drawback: he’s just cutting it down, no clean up.  We would have to clean up the mess, and Easter is in 2 days!  He tells me he’ll have a crew over between 10 and 11:00.

Anyway, a guy shows up, just one guy, in a Honda Civic.  Dressed the part, though- and he had to be at least 6’5″, maybe even closer to 7′ tall!! GEEZ!

I take him to the backyard and show him the tree (Kenna is freaking out- barking deeply at him, not listening to me, so I grab her and lock her in her kennel.   I always get concerned when she doesn’t like someone, because I think dogs have a good sense of character.  The guy is trying to make nice with her, talking to her, but she’ll have none of it.  I apologize for her ‘odd’ behavior and he comments that it’s probably because he’s so tall and carrying a chain saw!).

Noting that he’s alone and doesn’t have any helpers, I figure I’m not going to ask him to do any clean-up. (I was going to offer some cash to the guys if they would do some clean-up).  However, I do say, “Hey, if it’s not too much of a hassle- if there are branches on the ground that you need to move out of your way, could you move them over there?”  And I point across the yard to the other side of the house.

His reply, “I’m the tree climber guy, I don’t do ground stuff.  The ground crew didn’t come with me since this is just a cutting job.  I don’t have a chipper or anything. ”

OK. No biggie.

The kids are fascinated by him and run to the window to watch him work. They comment on how tall he is and what a good climber he is and how they wish they could climb trees like that and someday they’ll be big and do that, too.   It was so cute!   =o)

I watch the debris pile growing and growing. And the guy does a great job of stacking the branches fairly nicely, and keeping things from hitting our house. Very aware of what he’s doing, and I’m impressed with his work.

He climbs back down the tree  (leaving it about 10′ tall) and asks what time it is.  I tell him, and he says, “I have some extra time, I can move these branches for you if you want- where did you want them to go?” I show him the side of the house and tell him just the biggest ones would be good, that we’re having Easter here and any help is better than nothing!

He was so efficient! Moved all the branches in about 4 trips!

Long story short, we don’t have as much clean-up to do, except for all the “little stuff”.  I complimented him- for how careful he was, thanked him for the extra work he did, gave him a cash tip….and off he went!

So, if anyone has any trees to cut down, I’ve got a guy…. just let me know!

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