The main reason we chose the tree service company we did was that the company we had used in the past is closed until the end of March, and the company that came yesterday came in with the best bid. It was a flat fee for a whole day’s work for a crew of four, with the owner supervising. The owner probably left and came back a few times during the day, to check on progress, while his crew did the work, but I knew he’d show up for his check at the end of the day. Sure enough, he did. He was also really interested in seeing our saw mill out behind the barn. I was glad he took a personal check instead of insisting on a credit card, because although he accepts them, he tacks on the processing fee that the credit card company charges him, so it saved me a few hundred. That policy is not unusual for contractors around here.
All the really tall multi-trunk trees they downed were left in nice neat log piles on the lawn, and they mulched/carted away anything under a 6″ diameter, as we had requested. We have more than enough mulch piled up for ourselves, plus a few of our neighbors, so if they can turn around and sell what they carted away, good for them. I’m sure that was worked into our firm cost quote.
A couple of those trees could have waited another month or two to be downed, but the mostly dead maple by the end of our driveway that was 30′ from the house was a hazard that could not wait much longer. They dropped it away from the house, and driveway, which they were supposed to do. Now, we can park our vehicles where we normally do, without fear of having a huge branch break off and land on top of them. Nobody wants to make an insurance claim for something that could have been prevented by using common sense.
Other than that, our front yard, and the side yard by the barn, now will get a lot more sunshine, even after the remaining trees leaf out over the next two to three months. We got some really good logs for the saw mill, and whatever is left that isn’t good enough for that will make good firewood after it cures for a year or two. We have no shortage of firewood, but when we have a boatload more than we can use, we have a couple of neighbors who will take it off our hands for free, whether we deliver it, or they come pick it up themselves. What goes around comes around. Do a neighbor a solid, and it will be returned at some point, in some form. Heck, we loaned our next door neighbor our large trailer a couple of times, and he gave us a $25 gift card to the restaurant he owns, plus a couple of 6-packs of Yuengling. Lager is good year ’round.
I have to have a cookout to return the favors a couple of my neighbors did over Christmas — two parties, and a box of phenomenally good Christmas cookies. I sent a “thank you” note for the Christmas cookies, asking, politely, if I could have the recipe for chocolate-peanut butter bars. Those were sinfully rich, and delicious. I got the recipe enclosed in a return card. Feed people, ask what they need or want that you can spare, and they will return the favor. I’m so lucky that I’ve never had asshole neighbors.