Thursday, September 5, 2013


Elm Trees & Power Lines Don't Mix

One of the pleasures of living in an 110 year old home is you never get bored.  Your home is constantly surprising you with long kept secrets.  Yesterday it was a 50 foot tall elm tree that was threatening our power lines.  Five of our neighbors experienced downed trees during the last two years and our yard had been left without their buffer this last year.  The old gentleman in our yard was getting weak at the knees and had already dropped a sizable limb precipitously close to the house. 

Happily here in this part of the US, tree services are plentiful, and we were able to bring the tired old boy down quickly and gently.  Because we live in the Evergreen Historic District of Memphis, on a 50 X 150 small city lot, cranes and bucket trucks were not practical.  Instead, a small band of nimble men equipped with ropes and chain saws scrambled up into the old man’s arms and brought him down piece by piece.  They were remarkably fast, like a horde of human sized army ants, taking only six hours to remove all but a whisper of evidence of the giant that had commanded our back yard for more than century.

It was an expensive and inconvenient process.  We were without power for more than eight hours.   However, we feel lucky that we did not experience the destruction that our neighbors did when their old friends collapsed on top of them.  While we do feel more secure in our home, we also feel a bit more exposed without the old man watching over our back yard, shading us from the brutal summer sun.   Our back yard looks far less inviting, almost like a family room without a comfy sofa.   It’s easy to replace your favorite leather chair.  How do you replace a 100 year old tree?  And that’s today’s Back Story.


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