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A Cautionary Story About Trees

I’m a do it yourself sort of person. I like to get my hands dirty, and I’ve always prided myself on how well I can keep things running without calling in the experts.

A few examples, just to prove the above claim: I do most of the mechanical work on my car. I have no training, just a couple decades of experience messing around and reading a guide or two. But it means I can save a lot of money. I only go to the mechanic for the serious, labor-intensive stuff. The rest, I handle on my own.

I also installed my own patio in my house. I do most of the repairs in the house. I built the cribs for my children, and nothing has ever come crashing down on my head. Or nothing had, until The Tree.

I capitalize The Tree because I think it’s important to show respect to your enemies. The Tree is—or was, finally, was—located in our backyard. For years, it was a beautiful, faithful tree, sprouting nice green leaves in the spring and turning a lovely shade of red in the autumn. Then, it got infected with something, and it died on us.

I left it alone for a couple years, but one day, I decided I just wasn’t positive how sturdy it was. I worried that a storm would come along one day and uproot the whole thing, turning it into a massive missile aimed at our house. So, in my typical fashion, I decided I would tackle The Tree and take care of it myself.

I read up a little bit on the subject, about how to take down a tree safely. I bought all the equipment necessary. I knew, of course, that most people go to professionals for these things. I have even heard of some professional tree care specialists that are supposed to be quite good in the area. But, it has always been my opinion that people call in professionals not from need but from a sort of lazy refusal to do things themselves.

I would handle The Tree. I was very confident I could.

I would say I remained confident at least up until the moment The Tree tumbled through my roof and into my living room. So, that would be up until five minutes into my tree removal project.

Apparently, the limbs were less sturdy than I had thought. One strong pull to test whether it could handle my full weight, and down half of The Tree came.

Thankfully, no one was in the living room. Also, I suppose I should be grateful that I don’t need to call anyone to remove The Tree. I did, technically, achieve my goal.

I am, however, probably going to call in a professional for the roof. I think I’ve done enough hands-on work for one lifetime.