Thursday, September 07, 2006

Tree Fees

I've lived in my house for around 10-11 years. Since I live in an older neighborhood, there are A LOT of mature trees. Personally, I like that. I'd much rather have the forest that I call my backyard, than one of these new cookie cutter patches of lawn that pass for a backyard now, what with the neighbor's house within reach and the one or two lone new saplings the contractors have plunked down to give the place yet one more generic look.

So, with big trees, sometimes come big problems (which I've blogged about before...though the problem then was more human, so to speak, than nature). My most recent tree problem has been one of the big trees in my front yard. It's been dying for some time now and with the weather being in the 100's for so long, it's getting even drier and more brittle. Once I saw that the one lone branch it had stemming from it's trunk was beginning to split, I knew I had to act fast. The tree lines the sidewalk and if that branch (so large, it's like another trunk) split and fell, it would fall into oncoming traffic (across at least 3 of the 4 lanes) and possibly cause a bad accident.

So, I began the process that I've become all too familiar with: comparison shopping. I did it when I first had to call a plummer, a contractor, electrician, and a few years ago, tree trimmers. You may be asking "But, Kirk, if you already had the name of the company who trimmed your trees 2 years ago, why not just use them again and avoid all the footwork." Ah, that's what I thought, so when I called them to arrange an estimate, I thought I was one step closer to getting this huge tree removed from my front yard. Au contraire, mon frere.

First off, it took them TWO WEEKS to give me an estimate. When I called, the secretary said 3 DAYS. When one week passed, I called to see what the deal was and she told me "I guess they haven't had time to come out yet." Gee, really? I kind of came to that conclusion WHEN IT DIDN'T HAPPEN! Idiot. So she gets snotty with me, like I'm the one being unreasonable for even calling to begin with. I hate that. Why am I the bad guy for wanting what they already promised? Fuck that. I got out the Yellow Pages (sorry, I realize times change, but I refuse to call it the Yellow Book now. I just do. Leave shit well enough alone already! Oy) and began making appointments with other services. I called 6 companies. Three actually answered. What's that about? And out of those 3, only 1 actually followed through and came out to give me an estimate.

Oh, and let me backtrack for a moment. When the people who originally trimmed the trees in my backyard a few years ago finally DID leave me an estimate (Which they chose to do when I wasn't there. Wise choice, because I probably would have laughed them out of my yard), you'll never in a million years guess what the price was they arrived at. First, a little backstory. Two years ago when I was getting estimates for getting the tree trimmed in the backyard, I also had the forethought to get an estimate for the dead Elm tree in the front yard. THEN he'd given me an estimate for "$250 + tax." THIS year he gave me an estimate for "$1,125...+ tax." ONE THOUSAND ONE HUNDRED & TWENTY-FIVE DOLLARS. My first thought was 'This motherfucker is smokin' some serious crack!' Can you believe it? What a deal, huh? $850 to just cut down the tree; $125 to grind the stump; and $150 for removal, etc. He included some long-winded mumbo jumbo about having to do with a city street, public sidewalk and permits. What a fucktard.

SO, the other estimate was for $425 + tax: $375 to remove the tree and $50 to grind the stump. Gee, guess who got the job. AND they too are insured and bonded (very important). So, if you live in the DFW area, and are in need of a fair tree service, be sure and call Rodriguez Tree Service, out of Dallas.

I started to make a collage of the whole tree removal process, but opted instead to make an animated gif. It's faster and takes up less space. And though it may sound bizarre, seeing the tree gone has been kind of a sad experience for me. To think it's probably been here since the house was built in 1940, all that history, all the things it's lived through, and now it's gone, is kinda sad to me. I miss it being there. But, I hope to eventually plant a Poplar tree there, so maybe everything will be back to normal over time.


Blogger rhiann carnated said...

wow! you're a cutie :)

Thursday, September 07, 2006 8:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Cheryl said...

OMFG don't even get me started on home improvement people/contractors!! What IS with them?!? They don't return calls, they don't come to give estimates, do they not WANT business? How the FUCK do they get away with that and stay employed??

Oops, I guess I got started. :) As you can tell, I am also a home-owner. Renting is really underrated, I think. Heh.

Anyway, big yard expenses like that is part of why I chose to move back into the city vs. suburbs.

Friday, September 08, 2006 10:52:00 AM  
Blogger Mon said...

Holey shit, $1,000 to cut down a friggin tree? Houses are expensive. Sometimes, I think about that, like say, now when, my electric needs rewired, and I pick up the phone to call my landlord....

At least you got a better quote!

Friday, September 08, 2006 11:09:00 AM  
Blogger Kirkkitsch said...

Rhiann carnated-
I'm not a tree! lol! Thank you...I guess. I'm not sure what spurred your comment, but thanks! :D

I know! It must be nice to run a business where you pick and choose when you feel like answering the phone and/or showing up. What-ever.

I have to admit, there are pros and cons to both renting and owning. I must admit I do miss the swimming pool, picking up the phone to call the maintenance man, the security system and the beautiful landscaping (fountains and such) of my old apartment complex. On the other hand, I don't have to worry about being nocturnal, loud, trekking to the laundromat, dumpster, etc.

Thanks for commenting! :)

No shit! I have a feeling his secretary gave him some cock and bull story about me being snippy (which I wasn't, she was the one who got 'attitude' when I asked what the hold up was with the estimate) and that's why he took ANOTHER week to get to me, not to mention the INSANE estimate. Finding quality, affordable home maintenance is a pain the ass.

Best of luck with your electricity. I'm having some electrical "issues" as well that I don't even want to THINK about right now. It never seems to end.

Thanks for taking the time to comment! :)

Wednesday, September 13, 2006 4:36:00 AM  
Anonymous Mark Rogers said...

Haha Yellow Pages, I don't even think you should have to explain yourself. WTF is a yellow book?

Friday, September 15, 2006 2:27:00 AM  
Blogger rhiann carnated said...

my attention to detail sucks...I must have been drunk when I posted that. I thought you did it yourself. god, how embarrassing. Did you ever play a tree in an elementary school play by chance? haha

Friday, September 15, 2006 9:38:00 PM  

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