Jeremy Felt

A weekly note

It’s kind of wild to have broken out of the pandemic shell, hung out with 1300 or so people for a few days, crisscrossed the country on 4 different airplanes, seen the inside of more restaurants in one week than the last several years, and arrived home with not even a sniffle.

Only to then, weeks later, do something mundane like visit the chiropractor or go to the grocery store and end up all congested with a cold for the first time in well over 4 years.

No fever, only slight fatigue, no loss of smell or taste, no positive tests… could it be just a cold? Very strange.

Here’s to another couple days of annoying. 🤞🏻

After not hearing back for a bit over a week, I followed up with the arborist on Friday to see when he would be stopping by. 10 minutes later he was out front explaining our aptly named Autumn Blaze maple in great detail, showing examples of its age, and pointing out spots that will likely start coming down as it reaches the end of its lifespan. I believe he called it a garbage tree, but with the nicest intent.

We then moved to the well over 100ft tall white fir, which I now know has benefited in some ways from not being surrounded by competition. This has made it more full and stable than other similar trees in the neighborhood. The downside is that it has to handle the wind on its own. And I guess the other downside is it will make a bigger crash.

It’s not getting any healthier and we’ll likely be the ones to deal with it in the next waves hands years. Our immediate instructions include watching the ground on the west side of the tree for cracks or heaving while it’s windy. If we see that, someone should be working to bring the tree down that day.


From this conversation, I learned a lot about root systems. 40% of the tree’s mass is above ground and 90% of the mass below ground is within 10 inches of the surface, likely reaching out as far as it is high.

He then pointed to our relatively fresh looking driveway that is definitely not buckling from tree roots and is only a few feet from the tree and helped me wonder what kind of impact that had on the tree 10 or 15 years ago.

He apologized more than once for not having anything good to say. I told him more than once I’d rather hear hard truths now.

We then moved to the back yard to check out the black walnut and he helped me see the negative space where foliage should be. Another way of saying that even a green tree may only look nice and green because the dead parts don’t grow anything to look at.

And as with the fir, the walnut isn’t getting any healthier and we’ll probably be the ones to deal with it. We may have a bit more time without his one by pruning it, but that’s also kicking the can down the road a bit.

A lot to think about and to plan for—maybe at $10k a pop. 😬

Better news! The very tall spruce—“don’t you have any small trees I can look at?”—is in a good state to be pruned and did not elicit any harboring of tree falls to come.

We’ll schedule the pruning in mid winter because if you cut a tree in warmer seasons, it oozes sap—a distress signal—and bugs come flying in to help decompose troubled parts of the forest. We are not a forest in distress.

No more trimming branches in the summer!

So yeah, an unplanned hour and a half conversation with an arborist on Friday afternoon. I learned a lot about our trees and a lot about how expensive they’re going to be.

I wouldn’t mind having a conversation with an arborist every week, especially if it was about someone else’s big trees.

The last weekend of summer may have also been our last burst of hotter temperatures. The 10 day forecast appears to start settling into fall.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m here for hoodie weather. I’m still here for hoodie weather.

I’m tired on account of this cold, so that’s it.

Cheers to the equinox! 🍻

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