Tag Archives: trees

Neither Snow nor Rain nor Heat nor Gloom of Night…

This post is from littlejailbird.

The city of Minneapolis has a wonderful thing going where you can get a free tree for your boulevard. You just have to make a request before November and the following spring you will have a tree planted in front of your house, no money or labor from you required.

Many years ago, I requested one of these trees and subsequently had a pin oak tree planted on my boulevard. I don’t know if the city still does this, but back then it took care of watering the tree for the first summer. They must have had a schedule where the watering truck would go around and water the new trees.

They were very good at following the schedule and didn’t let pesky things like bad weather interfere. They could have taken the motto often associated with the U.S. Post Office and tweaked it to reflect their dedication to the tree-watering schedule: “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays theses tree waterers from the swift completion of their rounds.”

I know this because one day there was quite the deluge outside. It was pouring so hard that a person would have been totally soaked in approximately 2 seconds. I was nice and dry indoors and while I watched the rain pouring down, a truck pulled up in front of my house. Soon the tree-waterer had the hose out and was diligently watering the boulevard tree. I was impressed with his dedication…and amazed at a system which would send someone out to water trees when it seemed the tree was already getting plenty of moisture by natural means. I’m sure the tree-waterer felt his job was redundant that day.

Tell us about something you’ve done or witnessed that turned out to be totally unnecessary.

The Chainsaw Massacre

Header image: © Justin Smith / Wikimedia Commons, CC-By-SA-3.0

Today’s guest post is by Sherrilee

Two Sundays ago I finally pruned my big lilac bush.  It’s been 20+ years so it was definitely a job that needed the chainsaw.  It took a while to get all the branches small enough for the City of Minneapolis to take away so I had plenty of time to think about my chainsaw skills and history.

I moved into my current house a couple of decades ago, when I was still with my wasband. Among other things that we inherited with the house was a sick tree in the front yard. We had a couple of tree folks out to look at it and both had the same opinion; the tree had to go. While we paid for the tree professionals for their opinions, the wasband was not going to pay for someone to remove the old tree (his middle name should have been UberFrugal).  And I’ll admit, the do-it-yourself of the job appealed to me.


The new tree was delivered on a Saturday morning and we tromped down to Home Depot and purchased a chainsaw to do the job. Wasband had it “all worked out”; I would guide where the tree fell with a rope around the tree and he would do the sawing. Knowing what I know now about physics, I can’t believe this was the plan.

Just like a sit-com, the tree started to fall the wrong way.  Of course, it was much too heavy for me to guide and the rope went with the tree.  Wasband dropped the chain saw on the ground to try to help me.  He did manage to shove the tree in another direction from the house; instead it fell right on the chainsaw, splintering it into hundreds of plastic yellow pieces. It was almost as if the tree was saying “if I’m going, you’re going with me!”

So now the tree was down, but we still needed to cut it into smaller logs.  Back to Home Depot.  I’m sure that these days, after 9-1-1, someone would call Homeland Security about the couple buying a second chainsaw on the same day!

Have you ever had a DIY project go wrong?

Crocodiles In Trees

I really don’t know much about alligators and crocodiles, including which is which. Whenever I wonder about their various differences I take a moment and look it up, (alligator – freshwater, “u” shaped snout / crocodile – salt water, “v” shaped snout) but when I’m face-to-face with one or the other, I always forget what I learned and panic in exactly the same way, regardless.


Because I have so much idle time, I often daydream about what I would do if a giant reptile decided I was worth the effort to chase down and, perhaps, eat. My first thought is that I would outrun the beast, though I’ve been informed that they are surprisingly fast – a bit of information that becomes more alarming as I age and become surprisingly slow.

I have always assumed that another convenient escape route for any potential human morsel would be to climb a nearby tree, since the only images I’ve seen of crocodiles and alligators depict them at ground level, or partially submerged. I climbed many a tree when I was a boy, and only fell out of one once. So I figured with the help of adrenaline I could probably get off the ground once again and cling to a higher branch until a sick goat happened to wander by to distract my frustrated reptilian pursuer.

But now comes the troubling information that alligators and crocodiles can climb. Obviously this puts a kink in my plans. Before this I had never considered the possibility that the words “… he was pulled out of a tree by an alligator” could someday appear in my obituary.

There’s nothing about that experience that sounds even remotely pleasant, although it would be a pretty remarkable thing to have as your official C.O.D. (cause of demise). The scenario does have me wondering where a treed human would try to kick an upwardly mobile crocodile or alligator, since they are pretty much all mouth on the front end. Surely there must be a strategy that would work!

A crocodilian has you up a tree. Now what?