Something about this summer — maybe the two very brief periods of heavy rain? — inspired the shrubbery around the house to burst into hyper-growth. Trees and shrubs that had been quiescent for the past two or three years suddenly put on what seemed like two or three years’ worth of growth, as though they were making up for lost time.
Within what seemed like a matter of weeks, the normally well-behaved olive in front was trying to take over the courtyard — it had almost blocked the walkway to the front door. The paloverde almost regained all the growth that got cut back last winter. The man-eating palo brea in front was again reaching its claws toward the sidewalk, there best to rip out the eyeballs of unwary passers-by. The tiger-clawed Texas ebony had officially made repainting the east wall impossible. The devil-pod tree on the west side again threatened to drop a branch on the roof. And the desert willow, once so handsomely trimmed, was back in bramble mode.
An arborist who owns a thriving landscaping business lives in the neighborhood. To give you an idea of how thriving: he lives in the part with the half-million to million-dollah homes. One of his contracts entails maintenance of all the trees and palms on the Sun City golf courses. For those of you who don’t live around here: the Sun Cities are vast. And they have a lot of golf courses. A lot. Anyway, I saw him the other day, introduced myself, and engaged him to clean up my yard and also got him in to see my neighbor, who had remarked that they needed tree trimming, too.
For $680, the guy and his foreman showed up with about six guys, whom they sent aloft. They pruned — very professionally — six large trees, two of which I would classify as “difficult” because of fierce thorns or overgrowth or both. They did such a nice job! I felt like it was about the best $680 I’ve spent on this joint in quite awhile! 🙂
Here’s one of the guys (through the screen…sorry!) with just SOME of the debris from the side-yard trees.
Don’t have a “before” of the olive, but it’s wonderfully cleaned out and lightened now. It had gotten so heavily overgrown I was afraid the next monsoon would break off limbs. Now the wind can blow right through it without harm. And now that I can reach the thing, I need to get out there and trim back the berserk Texas sage. Very soon.
And the fierce palo brea is now so tall that, the way they’ve trimmed it up, that thing won’t be raking any passers-by’s heads for at least another year or so.
Well, folks, this project was about the only thing that got done today that didn’t leave my nerves jangling and my teeth grinding. I have had another long, workful, frustrating day from hell in the editorial biz and the teaching vocation. And now, pretty much reduced to inarticulate, I am going to bed.