Home ownership being single has been a lot different than it was with him. For our first house, we took what one might call a lackadaisical approach. All of the paperwork, insurance and mortgage business was up to him and I just assumed things got done properly. Sometimes it did, and sometimes it didn’t.

Lawn care was up to me, but I tended to focus on little projects versus the big picture. About once a quarter, I’d get inspired and research a ton of native Texas plants and go spend $100 at the garden store and hours mulching in planting — only to have them all die a month later. Drought tolerant my ass.

When it came to trees in my old yard, I didn’t do more than occasionally look up at my trees to make sure they were still being trees. This is because one of them was experimenting with some kind of tree BDSM, tied up in giant metal chains and the other brought giant roof rats into my house. Picture squirrels, but instead they’re huge nocturnal rats that jump on your roof from tree branches and proceed to ruin your life. It’s as terrifying as it sounds. Y’all — Texas has some next level critters.

Anyway, when I bought my home last year I decided I’d be proactive about the tree situation. There are three large trees in my yard, and I had professionals come out to reduce the canopy and increase the clearance from the roof. No branches touching. No rats. I patted myself on the back for being such a responsible homeowner.

Then a week after I had the branches trimmed, one of the trees in my front yard dropped a large limb on my roommates brand new car.

I immediately called the company who I had trim my trees, and was all “Da fuq I just paid you $400 to make tree limbs not bring evil rats into my home or fall on cars and a giant tree limb just fell on a car.”

They were like, “Sry we don’t control trees. Trees crazy AF. We’ll come back out and charge you more money though.”

So I said sure, because that’s what owning a house is like.

This is the point where I began to learn more about the trees on my property. See, I have two different species:

Two of them are White Oak trees, which despite dropping a literal shit ton of acorns (I say shit ton because the dogs ate so much of them that they shit out acorns for months) in my back yard, they are good trees. They have strong branches, durable wood and usually live between 200 and 300 years on the low end which is at least 150 years older than my house and far longer than I’ll ever have to worry about.

My other tree, the problem tree, is a Texas Ash tree. It has really heavy/dense hardwood, and the tree guy told me has a lifespan of 40-50 years. My house, coincidentally, is 50 years old. The internet gives me no specifics on the lifespan of Texas Ash trees, and since the mofo is still healthy I’d say it’s going to live long enough to aggravate me some more.

Exactly one year after I had the ash hole trimmed (twice), he dropped another large branch on my driveway… luckily this time not on top of a car.

But why does this keep happening? See, the Ash tree has super dense wood and long, spindly branches. It grows quicker than say, oak trees, and does well with little water and high sun/heat. 

But then if the weather gets super hot and dry, you know like it does EVERY SUMMER IN TEXAS, any bits of moisture begins to dry out of those heavy branches.

They come super dry, and therefore brittle.

And whereas a normal tree has some kind of built in ecological support for this kind of thing, like a structure that actually supports its own damn growth.

The Ash Tree drops its branches.

So that’s why my tree is a jerk, and my front yard looks like a jungle right now. At least this happened before the renters moved in?

19 COMMENTS

  1. I may have laughed way too hard at your expense in this post. I’m sorry your tree is falling apart. Dumb ash tree! At least no cars were maimed this time!

  2. My parents had a HUGE Ash tree in their backyard — it finally died (basically) from those borer ash beetles and had to be taken down. Luckily, it did not drop branches on expensive items like cars or houses.

    But Ash hole is an excellent name for your tree. Can we get it a name tag?

  3. “They were like, ‘Sry we don’t control trees. Trees crazy AF. We’ll come back out and charge you more money though.’

    So I said sure, because that’s what owning a house is like.”

    TRUER WORDS HAVE NEVER BEEN SPOKEN.

  4. Thank you for venting your tree anger with us. I know we’ll have a lot to talk about once you actually get to CA. I LOVE trees, but have had some “Ash Hole” trees in my yard as well. Right now I have 3 HUGE dead eucalyptus trees in my yard making us look like the people who always celebrate Halloween or just are too lazy to get the dumb dead trees OUT of the yard. They guy who trimmed them must have trimmed them too much and they died. Honestly, I am glad because those trees get dangerous and you’ll hear news stories about them falling on cars and killing people. This happened last year–a eucalyptus fell on a wedding reception about 30 minutes from here and killed at least one of the guests (talk about a traumatic wedding!).

    Anyway, we have a flowering vine growing up one of the dead trees which hubby says, “Looks nice–colorful.” UG. Anyway, I’ve wanted to get those darn trees out (and I’m not a swearer, but I want to because it’s so frustrating–I’m thinking the “darn” alternative right now). The guy who trimmed them originally (also our gardener) was going to do it last year but he kept having family emergencies and did a lot of traveling out of the country. Then we had all the rain. The trees have been on his “to do” list for months and when I get riled about wanting them OUT, my husband is like, “Don’t worry, he’ll get to it. Sometimes you need to have patience.”

    And now I realize I should write my own blog post on this because. . . apparently eucalyptus wood is VERY valuable/expensive for fireplaces. But it takes a couple of years to dry out. So we probably have a gold mine of dead wood in our yard that is just there looking ugly for no purpose and in the way of our fence line where we could plant some attractive, privacy hedges.

    I won’t even go into the tree that fell on our house a month after we bought it.

    I love trees but they don’t love me. Thank you for listening.

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