This may be another one of those state-to-state differences we chuckle about in the comments, but I thought I would pass on this money-saving tip The Mister and I happened upon through no ingenuity or brain power of our own.
I’ve complained often enough about the poor natural light in our home that I am sure several of you are now rolling your eyes, waiting for me to mention, again, that two towering trees flank our property. Not one to disappoint, here I go:
We have two towering trees flanking our property and they suck up all our natural light.
But wait, I have more to complain about!
They are now so big they are encroaching upon our neighbors’ property, and with winter just around the corner, one of our next door neighbors delicately suggested we consider having the beasts trimmed before the leaves dropped all over her pool and created one of those boobie traps you see in the movies where the sidekick walks across an innocuous pile of leaves and falls into a pit with a flesh eating mole the size of a Winnebago. Or maybe she was just worried about her pool sweeper getting jammed. Either way, we picked up what she was laying down and called some people.
Some people gave us some bids, which gave us something to wince over and reminded us why have we put this off for so long. The tree in the front, alone, would cost us $350 to have it properly trimmed. Or, 1/3 of an IKEA sectional, which is how I determine cost lately. You don’t even want to know the quotes we received for the woolly mammoth in the back yard. Any money we save on air conditioning by living in a constant state of nightfall is exceeded by the cost of keeping these trees manageable.
(Don’t worry, I’m getting there.)
One of the people we had out to bid the project thought the tree in our front yard might be a city tree. Modern neighborhoods have a sidewalk (here in southern CA; we’ll see what you all have to say about this in the comments), and city code states anything preceding the sidewalk is city property and, therefore, the city’s responsibility to a certain degree. Homeowners are still responsible for keeping the area neat and maintained. We do not live in a modern neighborhood and do not have a sidewalk. The tree is positioned in a gray area, so before embarking on a 1 1/2 IKEA sectionals project, we decided to have a representative from our city’s Urban Forestry department come out and settle the issue.
They came out quickly and three days later my doorbell rang with good news and bad news, according to the inspector.
The good news is the tree sits on city property, and is the city’s responsibility to keep trimmed. The bad news is the tree does not need to be trimmed at this time. (Uh-huh.) But, the inspector said I could employ city trimmers at the resident-city rate if I was so inclined. The rate? $39. That is a savings of $311. $39 to have a towering tree trimmed, a near 90% difference from the $350 we were quoted. THIRTY NINE DOLLARS.
My math might be off, but I am pretty sure that’s the middle-left cushion of an IKEA sectional.