Seen at The Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden ~ Chinese proverb

Thursday, 23 October 2008

No Care, Less Acer


Remember this? I found one third of my lovely Acer tossed casually onto the top terrace amongst the Dahlias this morning. We're having the house fascias renewed at the moment, in the hope it'll prevent the squirrels getting into the attic again and nesting there. One of the workmen moved my beloved tree yesterday in order to start working on the back of the house.

I don't know what makes me more annoyed: the fact that four branches were thrown onto the garden in the hope I wouldn't notice the damage; nothing's actually been said about it yet (and they're not here today for me to raise it with them), never mind the lack of apology; or my oldest plant (24 years), nearly as old as my marriage, nurtured from a tiny tree and survivor of three house moves, will never look as magnificent again.

Hopping mad doesn't really cover how I feel at the moment.

25 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry to see that. I know it is a bit sexist but I think not asking is a man thing (think directions) - when I had my house rewired I asked the workmen to tell me if anything needed moving and I would do it. I have a lot of junk and most of it has sentimental value to me.

    They assured me there was nothing I needed to do. I'm still sorting out the bits and trying to track down to where things were moved. Naturally things have been broken, sometimes by me as they are in places I don't expect them to be.

    Much as I love acers I've given up on them now, three times after careful nurturing from between 5 and 15 years I've had to leave them behind in house moves.

    Hopefully you can prune yours back to an acceptable shape and is it too late in the year to try striking some cuttings?

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  2. Hi Deb - thanks for the sympathy and positive suggestions. Unfortunately the branches are all down one side and have been taken off to the main stem, so I can't trim it back into an acceptable shape. The tree's dormant now, so I don't think the branches will take as cuttings, but it's worth a try.

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  3. That is very frustrating--not only the damage to the tree but that they would throw the broken off branches on your garden bed! WTF?! I'm sending good thoughts of happy trees your way!
    ~ Monica

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  4. Thanks Monica - you must have been over here whilst I was over there at your place :)

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  5. That is so heartbreaking. I really feel for you, and it's sad to see our normally cheerful VP so upset. It's probably just as well the workmen aren't there today, or a Blotanical posse might have come over armed with rakes and shovels and, you know, EXPLAINED things to them.

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  6. I would be absolutely livid! In fact, I'd be so livid I'd probably try to sue them for compensation. They have caused damage to your tree and garden through carelessness and ... yes, stupidity. Maybe then you could afford to buy a mature acer to replace that one with... although I know it's never going to be the same as the one you nurtured.

    Alternatively, you could let Victoria 'explain' things to them with her posse!

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  7. Grrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!! It's such a shame that your poor tree was so badly damaged. Why can't people just be a little bit more careful if not to say respectful of all the other living things in our world. Shall I sent the Bliss Ninja Team after them, they have sharp claws and even sharper teeth. ;-)

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  8. I feel really angry on your behalf. I could do with the walls rebuilding in the back garden but I know the garden will be totally trashed by builders if I have it done.

    I once asked bigfoot the window cleaner to be careful with my plants when he was cleaning the windows. "Oh yes Mrs - always am". He was standing on my blue grass whilst he said it!

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  9. Workmen! Don't you wonder why you have them? Just remembered I don't do ladders, roofs etc. so they are a necessary evil I suppose - and yes it is a man thing, THEY JUST DON'T THINK!!!!! The Bliss Ninja Team and Victoria's posse are too good for them. Big hugs, VP, from us all

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  10. Oh no! How dare they! We had damage done to our house and the builders never told us and then tried to blame it on us, (they werent even working on our house!). So dont get me started I will go wax lyrical about it for hours.

    I bet it made you feel sick! I would give them what for tomorrow! All barrels of the gun. I feel for you, I really do.

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  11. You better make sure that you're not holding anything pointed or sharp when you speak to them! xx

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  12. Oh Michelle-what a sad tale. Get that before photo with an after, tell them the cost of a replacement -Whitehall prices and a bit-and deduct it from the bill if they won't compensate you. At least that way you could replce with an equivalent tree whilst your poorly invalid recovers.

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  13. That is sneaky behavior! I prefer they tell me directly! It is only worse when people try to avoid conflict! I lose trust. Gail

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  14. So sorry about your poor Acer, VP < hugs > - I'd be hopping mad too, & I agree with Threadspider - the very least they should do is pay for a replacement, though obviously it won't have the same sentimental value. Don't let them get away with it!

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  15. How maddening! As you say its bad enough they have damaged the tree but they should have fessed up to it!

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  16. Victoria - thanks for your sympathy and offer to rally the troops :) Thinking back on your 'Why do we garden?' piece, I realised yesterday that the Acer's a link back to when I really started to garden. I'm much more my old self today - after all it's not much in the great scheme of things is it?

    Jay, TS and Juliet - thanks for your kind words. I've done my research and the tree's going to cost £100 to replace. It's been raised with them this morning and the response was 'you'll have to talk to the boss about that'. At worst we'll simply deduct it from the bill.

    Arabella & Maggi - that's why I was reluctant to have them here in the first place, but I like squirrels in the attic even less!

    Yolanda - I like the thought of the Bliss Ninja team over here - send 'em over!

    SOL and Flighty - I was quite restrained this morning re weaponry. Victoria's right - it's probably just as well they weren't here yesterday!

    PG - that's one of the points we've made to them for the future. It's bad enough it happening, but not owning up is even worse!

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  17. It's bad enough when the elements damage precious plants - I have cried before now - but so much more upsetting when humans are too blame ((((())))) It could have been a genuine accident but there is still no excuse for not at least a verbal apology or a note if you were not about. I hope that some financial reimbursement is forthcoming. Is your 24th anniversary this year VP ? If so we will both be celebrating silver wedding anniversaries in 2009.

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  18. VP - I am so sorry - Acers never look quite the same after that kind of damage. You should definitely just deduct it from the bill (with covering note and photo evidence).
    Ahem - I hate to say this - but I just bought a new Acer this afternoon in the garden centers end of season sell off - Shall I put it on a train to you?
    K

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  19. Anna - contrite wasn't exactly the word when it was raised with them yesterday, so it's deduction off the final bill as our next course of action. Most disappointing.

    Karen - that's why I was feeling so mad/sad about it. I've had so much pleasure from just looking at that tree. It brings a smile to my face when I see it on the patio, especially as I know I've nurtured it since it was about 10 inches high. I like the thought of your tree coming over on the train, but I don't want to deprive you of your purchase :)

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  20. Ooh, Flighty is right. I think you should use the blog to compose a post that says all the things you'll probably decide not say in real life--I could contribute a few choice epithets. "Ham-fisted morons" comes to mind. I bet James A-S would help.
    --Kate

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  21. Hi Kate - yes, I've been quite restrained here haven't I? Needless to say, we're not recommending them to our neighbours...

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  22. Why is it that workers have no respect for the plants at the homes where they are working? I dread having anyone (including family members) do any work anywhere outside the house. (And it always seems to be men...) Every time the power company tree manglers enter my yard, some valuable shrub gets seriously damamged.
    All you can do is give the poor little tree some extra TLC & hope that in about 50 years it will have recovered. Too bad you can't sue the SOBs for pain & suffering (yours & the Acer's).

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  23. MMD - we said the same thing about hating getting someone in. I can't believe how unapologetic these guys have been over the whole situation. Just one thing for it - hit them where it hurts, by docking it from the bill.

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  24. I don't even want to go down this road as I have a story similar to your acer that still makes my blood boil. Actually I think anyone who is not a gardener or otherwise connected with the land doesn't appreciate plants. I hope there's some way to reshape it so all is not lost.

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  25. Hi Kathleen - thanks for stopping by :)

    I had a good look at it - maybe if the injured side goes next to the wall it won't look so bad. I'll be able to tell better in the spring

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