Assault on Shade.

I like trees.

I try to understand that other people don’t, but it isn’t easy. It has been especially hard these last couple of days. You see, my neighbor has declared war on trees, and on their neighbor’s trees in particular. About five nights ago, the neighbor in question came by to declare their intentions to have our trees, which overhang their property, trimmed. The stated intention was to trim the branches overhanging their roof. The use of the word “stated” was deliberate. They “stated” what they were going to do, they did not “ask.” Yesterday, I came home and saw how their stated intentions translated into real life application.

Imagine, if you will, a tree. Now picture the main trunk of this tree set back from a property line about three feet. Now imagine how wide this tree would reach near the mid section and top if this tree were 20 – 30 feet high (imagine an oak, not a pine or palm). Now imagine a vertical line drawn straight up from that property line, and imagine that there was no more tree on the other side of this line. This, to my dismay, describes two trees which border my neighbor’s lot – one of which is my tree. It was difficult to contain my rage. Why do these people so disdain shade? Do they have a problem with saving money on their summer utility bills? Do they have a problem with how pleasant it feels in the shade, even on the hottest summer days? Do they like the look of tree trunks stripped bare, towering over their roof? I just wish they would have asked, or at least been more forthcoming about the extent of the trimming. However, I’m afraid that no amount of talking would have swayed them. I don’t know them really well, but what I do know does not suggest that they are the compromising type. Now that its done, what can I do? Perhaps dad is right, maybe it is easier to get forgiveness than permission. Lucky for me, the limbs they removed also shaded my roof from the sun, so we too will have the benefit of more expensive summer utility bills. My wallet feels lighter already, or does it? No, the verdict on my wallet is uncertain. Will the weight loss from higher bills compensate for the extra weight of leather soaked in sweat? Sadly, I’m not looking forward to finding out.