Tuesday, November 6, 2018

__________________ NOT SO NEIGHBOURLY TREES ____________________

To climb the fence I used a ladder. To cut some of the trees I had to sit or stand on top of the fence. I fell off the ladder a couple of times, but luckily I didn't fall off the top of the fence.

As is the case in many other towns and cities around the world, here in Whangarei there are no bylaws restricting the height of trees or hedges. Issues with Monkey Apple trees on our back boundary have been an on going issue for decades. A previous owner of the Monkey Apple house grew hedges on two sides of the property to a height of of over 60 feet. Any pleas by neighbours to trim this forest was meet with volcanic eruptions of that universal human condition IDGA - FAAEM (I don't give a fuck about anyone except myself).

The current owners of the property are far more reasonable. Discussions resulted in their agreement to allowing the trimming of the face of the wildly prolific growth that overhangs our side of the fence (something that we can actually currently do by law) and the topping of the trees next Autumn. Of course all of this would have to be at our expense.

 Looking along the fence line to the end you can see how far the growth had overhung into our property.

Expense is an interesting topic. We got two quotes. The first was from a bloke who said it would take him 3 days by himself to complete the job. His price was $800. He looked a bit diffident as he gazed at the height of the trees.

The second quote was from another strappingly fit young man who said, "Jeez, sweet as mate, cut it out in a day and we'll wood chip everything on site. He was working for a larger gardening organisation. Their quote was $1800. Before he left this honest trader told us quietly that he and his mate could come on the weekend, use the bosses wood chipper and do the job for $1000. We'll think about, we said.

I thought about all this for a week or more. I thought about a number of jobs done around the house, and completed (if that's the correct word), by so called tradesmen and handymen, and how when I looked at the quality of the work they had completed (there's that word again) I wished to fuck I'd done the job myself. So I decided that I would do the work myself.

 The hedge trimming has lightened the backyard up considerably. New growth will green up the exposed trunks.

I found doing this work at the age of 67 pretty exhausting. I used one of my sturdy wooden saw horses, an aluminum ladder and a strong cross cut hedge cutting hand saw. It took me about half a day to cut the trees back away from the fence. I fell off the ladder twice. I got lots of scratches and cuts until I changed from a T shirt to a stout denim shirt on the second day and drank copious quantities of liquids. At the end of the first day I had a huge pile of branches lying on the back lawn.

On the second day I hired a trailer with a cage on the back and worked for a full day loading the trailer with huge loads for my two trips to the dump where the trailer was weighed and payment made accordingly. Wife Christine worked like a trooper helping with one of the loads when she had returned from her work and when we had finished we both needed Nana and Poppa naps in the late afternoon.

1st TRIP  TO DUMP -  $41.40
2nd TRIP TO DUMP - $32.40

TOTAL COST          -  $129.00

I am not stating that had we got this job done commercially we would have been ripped off in any way - businesses have to pay wages and make a profit. My only problem with commercial firms is that they charge a lot of money, the quotes can vary widely and the workmanship often leaves a lot to be desired.

My main point is that you can save a lot of money by simply doing things yourself.


Kelvin Wright said...

Joining fee for the gym: $99. First month's fee: $49.95. So far, you're $19.95 ahead.

Alden Smith said...

A gym membership and the workouts thereof might be good for my weekly centerboard yacht racing I compete in - for topping the hedge I think I need a cherry - picker thingie.

Ben said...

Well that is some heavy weed killing.
The problem is I think, that you can start all over again next year :-)

Alden Smith said...

Ben, you are showing a good Kiwi sense of humour!