Tree Trimmer

At summer’s end the palm trees in my neighborhood look like a middle aged man who can’t afford a haircut.  When the winds come, the dried fronds with their vicious thorns sail to the ground with a loud crash, and the dried seed pods become ball bearings on the sidewalk. So now’s the time tree trimmers come around to sell their services for $80 per palm. We bought the service last year, only to realize that our neighbors (the upwind folks) saved their money, and their fronds and ball bearings ended up in on our sidewalk.  Trimmers apply power saws to the low-hanging dead fronds,  while the trees sway five feet any direction. By the time the tree trimmer’s done, the hairy old man looks like a kid with nothing up top but a cowlick.

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haircut by power saw

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23 Comments

  1. Wow, never thought about that. It sounds expensive if you have lots of trees. My sister lived in FL and her palms probably needed trimming, too. In hot climates, services are rarely done by homeowners it seems. Not a job I would want – too hot! I’d faint 🙂

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    1. The thing is, the trees are on “the parkway”, that strip between the sidewalk and the street. So they’re city property, but the city doesn’t trim, they just take away fallen fronds (but only if you make a nice pile for them). Homeowners trim & sweep and clean up in self-defense against the trees. I took a face-down dive one night on a dog walk, after tripping on a tangle of fronds. It wasn’t a pretty sight!

      Today I watched that man way up high above the street, swaying in the breeze. Not a job I’d want — to scarey.

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      1. Talk about a road hazard. Were you okay?
        I’ve a fear of heights, so there is NO way, I’d climb up there, esp. in a breeze!

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        1. I had guests in from Arizona, and I came home with a bloody face. But I seem to be quite indestructible!
          A few months later my sister gave me a headlamp for Christmas!

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          1. Smart gift! Unless it is a full moon, I need a headlamp, it is way too dark out and I wouldn’t want to stumble upon a skunk or crazed coon, both distinct possibilities out here. But I do love walking in the moonlight, especially in winter with the snow sparkling like a million diamonds. Now that is something for you to ponder – a benefit to living in a cold climate!

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            1. I’d be scared of the critters, for sure. The only ones I’ve seen on my night walks are skunks and coyotes. I’m a big chicken. I bought pepper spray.
              But I sure would enjoy walking under a full moon on fresh snow. THAT sounds awesome.

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              1. I’m chicken, too, but most critters are more scared of us, but I like to know what is rustling in the undergrowth! No surprises! Skunks will leave us alone if we give them space, but we have to see them first! I came close to getting sprayed once and was lucky it warned me. I ran like heck the other way and so did he! 🙂

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  2. Glad to hear you survived the face-plant! We get evergreen branches flying all over during winter storms. They can be pretty lethal.

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    1. Yikes, time to stay indoors with a cup of cocoa when evergreens fly!

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  3. The height of these trees is amazing and quite hazardous apparently for you! Great photos as usual MK .
    Karen

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    1. Paying attention – that’s the cure. One I am still trying to master.
      Thank you Karen.

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  4. woah, that’s kinda scary! and how gigantic those palms are!

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    1. What creeps me out is that the man uses that chain saw while the tree is swaying.

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  5. I never realized how heavy the fronds were until we visited Jamaica and saw a few laying around on the ground…massive. Those neighbors….I’d be grumbling about having to pick up their debris.

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    1. Yes, the fronds are very large! It’s not uncommon to see piles the size of a car in front of the houses, in the windy season. (And I do have a few choice words under my breath for our neighbors!)

      Thank you for your visit and your comment; they’re much appreciated.

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  6. The dangers of those palm trees cannot be understated!! Great article! ~SueBee

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    1. Thanks Sue! They are rather unfriendly, aren’t they?

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      1. I nearly poked my eye while trying to trim a branch off… I had no idea there were long stickers. Dangerous plants at best!

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        1. Grrrrrrrrr 😦

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          1. Agree! But they’re very quintessential Southern California, aren’t they?! My niece is visiting from Germany and has taken many pictures of palm trees. I warned her not to get too close!

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            1. They are SoCal, that’s for sure. My street is lined with the least attractive variety — the really tall skinny ones with thin raggedy fronds. My only good use for them is as a silhouette in a photograph. On the other hand, there are many varieties at the Huntington Botanical Gardens that are quite attractive. Especially the Mexican fan palm. But if you ask me, I’d take a ficus any day over a palm.

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