When I bought my little cottage, I also inherited an elderly Norway maple.  Every time I hear of an impending Nor'easter, or snowstorm or Hurricane Earl, I get a little bit sick to my stomach wondering how my old tree will fare.

In my last post, I mentioned that I needed to remove this limb.  It's not only because it looks a little silly; the entire limb is in really bad shape.  So for all of my tree-loving readers, I want you to know I am with you.

This is a photograph of my neighbor's house from perhaps the 1920s and to the right you can see my tree.  Incidentally, this porch was removed at some point along the line and my neighbor used this photograph...

...to restore it about five years ago.  I wished I had an old photo of my house.  I think it's so cool to have that reference.

Even before I moved in, one of my dear neighbors was kind enough to leave the number of an arborist in my mailbox that would maintain my tree.  (Yes, that's very Cambridge!  I've had other neighbors welcome me to the neighborhood with the gift of a recycling bin.)  The company who is an all organic tree preservation company thought the tree was fine; it just needed some chai tea latte injections or something like that. I'm all for being organic but I was a little skeptical about tea injections so (after having it done once) I called two more arborists for opinions.

Their opinion was the tree has numerous problems, the first of which is girdling roots.  As you can see, the roots are all twisted around the base, and as the tree has grown, it's literally choking itself to death.  They both advised I not put money into the tree.  Trees have a life span and its lived its life.

So what do I do?  I can't justify cutting it down yet.  But if I do nothing, I have a tree that's a liability.  If limbs fall on a car, or take out the power lines to the four cottages that are behind me, the financial burden is mine, not to mention the possibility that someone could get hurt. 

So last year, I spent $450 to have all of the dead wood taken off to see how things went.

And here I am one year later, with another large dead limb that hangs over my neighbors front yard and the street where someone parks...

...and this other decaying limb...

...has attracted a few woodpeckers which have been quite a neighborhood novelty... 

...and that sits precariously close to my electrical line.

So I've called the arborist again to have the dead and dying branches trimmed off and I just pray that Hurricane Earl will be good to me.

My old tree.  I love it and I hate it.