Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Cutting A Tree Down Before It Dies – Or Kills You

A casualty of Hurricane Sandy, I had to have a really big, old tree cut down recently. The 110-year-old oak tree rose over 100 feet high and loomed over my house. After having several enormous, heavy branches break off and fall onto our house during the late October super storm, I realized the inevitable was upon me. If I didn’t remove the tree, I would continue to fear it every time a storm approaches. I have worried about it for the past few years and know that time was not on my side. It would be only a matter of time before it damages our house.

Some may say I was reactive and took too long to chop it down in the first place. Others would say it was a preemptive action, but one that was done prematurely. In the end, I had to do what science and my gut told me. I could not afford to go on much longer with such a looming threat. Believe me, I was not eager to shell out two grand to get rid of one tree – not to mention I felt bad about killing a piece of nature. But safety trumps all.

After seeing neighbors with tress lodged in their roofs, I realized that I should not press my luck any further. The time to act had come, and I did what I thought was best. I don’t regret it, but I still wish I didn’t have to be such a grown-up and do the right thing. Tough decisions, even no-brainers, can weigh on us.

So, what is the lesson here? Sometimes you add by subtraction. I may have added years to the life of my house and moved closer to ensuring my family’s physical safety by cutting the tree down. Sometimes you need to be proactive and not merely reactive.

Still, knowing all of this does not mean I am fully content with my choice. After all, I could have just done nothing and then deal with any consequences only when needed. If the tree remained and never fell, it would have been a looming issue. If the tree eventually fell, insurance would have covered any damage. But nothing can replace having peace of mind or ensuring my family’s well-being.

In this situation I feel like I came out ahead after losing the shady tree. We will never know for sure what calamity I may have averted by removing the tree, but that is the point. I will no longer have to wonder what could have happened when most of the potential scenarios involved danger and damage.

Good bye, ol’ tree, but hello to feeling safe again.

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This blog is copyrighted material by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2012 ©

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