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When we first moved into our house here in Bend, Oregon, there were three old ponderosa pine trees in our backyard. We named them Larry, Curly, and Moe. Curly had gnarly branches and an arborist told us that it was infested with some kind of beetle disease, that it was a sick tree and might spread its disease to the other two trees, which were close together although their branches weren’t touching. After worrying about that issue for a while we had Curly removed.

A year ago there was a terrific windstorm here and five trees within striking distance fell, but only one full-grown Ponderosa hit our house a glancing blow. The homeowner’s insurance covered most of the twenty-five thousand dollars damage, although one of our picture windows has recently developed cracks because the house was still settling from the damage. The house directly behind us took a direct hit in the middle from another tree fall and after major restoration is just now being reoccupied. During the same storm, Larry fell and fortunately missed all the houses, and that left only Moe.

As the year went by there were some more windstorms and because Moe’s roots go under our house there was some squeaking occurring in the walls. Also, the concrete foundation was cracked and a five-foot section was lifted about an inch. When Larry fell it made a twelve-foot diameter hole and I was worried that if Moe fell that hole would include a portion of our house, such as the exact spot where I am sitting writing this blog post. That would be bad, but if that happened the whole frame of the house would be disrupted and require major repairs.

I didn’t want to take Moe out, and Debbie was even more hesitant, but when the wind blows the wall squeaks. For our own self-preservation, it had to go, and today was the day.

Half of Moe’s roots were going under the house.

I like living in a forest, but sometimes good sense must prevail over a good view.

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