I’m almost to the final chapter of my adventure with the Forestry Department of Minneapolis. Back in April, we came home to see our two ash trees in the very back of the yard splashed with green lettering. Someone had painted our trees. Having lived through the city’s Dutch Elm debacle (plant thousands, wait too long when it’s clear something is amiss, cut down every one regardless of health, give citizens little to no notice), I was pretty sure this was the end of our ash trees. Despite knowing for the last two years that this was coming it was a little sad nonetheless.
The green paint was followed by a form left on our front door stating that the city required the trees be removed (of course at my expense) and that they would be collecting quotes from various tree services on our behalf. I called the Forestry department twice when we didn’t hear anything for a few weeks; at the end of the second call, the department representative made it all too clear that I was to await the letter than would eventually show up and not to call again.
All summer I’ve looked out the back to see my green-trunked trees, impatiently waiting for the Forestry department to get on with it. Finally the first week of August we got a letter. The city had to get a special quote because of where our trees were located on the property line. At the end of the letter they listed two different quotes. One was for $3,500. The other was for $18,000 – this is NOT a typo. This time when I called the city, I got a more helpful person. She sighed when I squawked about the 18 grand figure and said she wished that the companies would just say they didn’t want the business. I was a little concerned that some computer somewhere would assign this company to me but she said I could fill out the postcard that accompanied the last letter with that request. I told her that I would like to get my own quote – and after a bit, she acquiesced and said I could write that on the postcard as well.
Well, my tree guy came in at half the price (of the lower figure) and is including grinding out the stumps. They were here yesterday and the whole job, including avoiding all the powerlines and doing all the clean up took less than two hours. I’m still in shock about the $18,000 quote.
Have you ever been over charged for something?