Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Bee Saga: Chapter VI - The Tree Man Cometh (or which came first, the chicken or the egg???)

The fun starts here: Bee Saga: Chapter I.

So during the last chapter, I yammered endlessly about our Monster Tree.

It's big. It's poopy. And it's got bees.

See? I can be concise?!

But story-telling is so much more fun! And with that thought... Onward:

I took the Bee-Trapper's advice and had hubbie contact a Certified Arborist. A Britishy-Scottishy-Irish-y fellow by the name of Simon (complete with unidentified not-quite-Geico-Gecko-accent - but close!) came out to give our Pepper-Tree a look-see. Unfortunately, he didn't seem terribly eager to get "up-close-and-personal" with the tree - because of the bee-situation - but the UP-side is: He didn't think the tree was facing imminent-death, nor did it pose an immediate threat to our house.

I mentioned my conversation - with the Bee-Dude - about the fact that there *had* to be a fairly-large cavity *inside* of the tree, and he agreed that the presence of said cavity probably wasn't a good thing (and certainly wouldn't "correct itself"), but he did emphasize that he didn't feel that the tree would come crashing thru our roof, anytime soon!

When I pressed him for further clarification "Okay, well, roughly how long do we have? Are we talking 5 years? 10? 20????" he couldn't really give me a definitive answer. Although - to be fair - he might've been concerned about Liability issues. Like, if he said "roughly 10 years" and the tree keeled over in 9-1/2 years, we might sue him or something (NOTTT!). Nevertheless....

He basically said that he couldn't tell without knowing how big the cavity was - and referred us back to a Bee-Trapper.

Oh Jeezus! I call an Apiarist, he refers me to an Arborist. I call an Arborist, and he refers me back to an Apiarist. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Srsly: "WTF!"

The arborist suggested that a Bee Removal Expert could get *inside* pictures of the tree and assess just how big the cavity is. I'm envisioning something-like-a colonoscopy camera ("Ew!" but you get the idea, right?!). Evidently, if the apiarist can share inside-of-the-tree pictures with the arborist, then he can give us a better assessment of the health of the tree. And, hopefully, pinpoint, with greater accuracy, *when* the tree needs to "go!"

Greaaaaat... Well, why doesn't the Arborist have access to such high-tech wizardry, I wonder? :::sigh:::

Another thing that he pointed out was: Our tree has *lots* of openings that could offer-up nesting/hiving opportunities for other bee colonies. It seems our pepper-tree could, potentially, be like the "Motel 6" for bees (Lucky us!!!). So, even if we ARE successful at eradicating (and sealing-up) the existing hive, we still have a big ol' flashing-neon "VACANCY" sign hanging up there for even MORE bee infestations!!!

"Oh Goodie!"

As the discussion and assessment continued, essentially it started to turn into a lot of "Humunah, Humunah" talk. Nothing definitive or concrete. And my attention span started to wane.

So - Jeez - cut to the chase already!

"Okay." I finally interjected "Let's say we decide to get rid of the tree. Tree goes? Then, obviously, so do the bees. What are we talking - in terms of cost - to remove the tree?"

"Wellllll... to cut it down, level to the ground, you're looking at approximately $2,000.00"

(Wow - not as bad as I was expecting, actually!)

"Ahhh, but we have to deal with the City too, right? We'll need to pull a permit and they *are* gonna insist that we plant a replacement tree, right?" "Well, yes."

And the rest of the story just gets progressively sadder so I'm just gonna summarize the rest of it.

Yes, the City needs to get involved. We'd have to pay Simon $175.00 to write-up a recommendation-report, but the city would *still* send out (and charge for sending) one of their arborists to look at the tree, personally. And, evidently, some of the City Arborists are "peckerheads." (Direct quote - Niiiiiiice!).

So, when it's all said and done: Tree removal, stump removal, reports, inspections, replacement-tree, yada-yada, it's all gonna end up being somewhere in the neighborhood of appx $3,000.00

:::BIG SIGH:::

So where are we now? Personally, I think the whole tree-removal business sounds like it's gonna be a royal pain in the tush. Messy. Expensive. PLUS - something else to consider is if the tree goes, we lose a whooooole lot of afternoon shade on the un-insulated side of the house. You know what that means? Our A/C is gonna have to work a LOT harder during the summer months (An added expense that one wouldn't normally consider!).

Soooooo... Mr. Bee-Trapper is going to be coming out to give us *his* assessment of the situation. I figure we need to weigh-out ALL of our options before making a final decision.

Yep. The fun CONTINUES...!

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