I can't believe hurricane season is two weeks away
After Florida got hit pretty hard last year, this year is predicted to be an average hurricane year, but all it takes is one.
I'm what they used to call a "belt and suspenders" guy. I like to have plans, back up plans and emergency plans. I recall after a hurricane 10 or 15 years ago when we had widespread power outages my mom called me and said "I need you to bring over 15 gallons of fuel for my generator" I asked her why she would think I had 15 gallons of extra fuel sitting around. She replied "You have at least 80 gallons at your house and a plan on how to get more even if all the stations are closed." She was totally wrong. I had 100 gallons and a plan. She knew me well I miss her every day.
Now, on to hurricane season and trees. The "Belt and suspenders" description comes from the fact that I always like to be prepared for the worst and have a backup plan or two. We have all been through a hurricane watch, we do all the usual prep, fuel for the generator, fuel up the vehicles, make sure we have enough bottled water, food etc. at this time, it's too late to get the trees trimmed. Last year in November, I remember Hurricane Nicole was soaking us pretty good and moving pretty slow. I got a call from a frantic man who wanted his coconut palms over his roof cleaned immediatly. I explained that we were in the outskirts of the storm with strong gusts rain and it's much too dangerous to work. He said "My coconuts are dangerous, they are ripping off the tree and falling on my roof, you need to come here now! I have a quote from six weeks ago, come now!" He couldn't understand that I was unwilling to risk my life or my employees lives to clean coconut palms in a hurricane. Don't be that guy.
Hurricane season preparation includes testing your generator, making sure you have some canned foods in the pantry, making an evacuation plan and getting your trees inspected by an ISA certified arborist. Please don't wait till the last minute, and don't ask your lawn man. These are hardworking guys with a lot of knowledge of their specialty, but they aren't trained in hazardous tree evaluation or hazard mitigation. Every year i see dozens of trees that are badly damaged by well meaning but poorly trained "tree trimmers" who, while trying to create a safer tree, actually create a less healthy, more dangerous tree. Please get your trees checked early by an arborist and the work done by trained tree care professionals. We don't charge for safety inspections and it could prevent an unwelcome surprise.
Call me to schedule your free safety inspection 305-588-3091
Here is the part you've been waiting for
The craziness continues...
Well, the year has started out WEIRD. In February, one of my employees wife gave birth to their eighth child. Yes, eighth. His wife had stopped working of course, to recover and take care of her newest, so he tells me that I need to double his pay immediately to make up for this shortfall in their budget. I of course said "NO". Over the next two days he was awful. he became super aggressive and just impossible to talk to or work with. A the end of the day I pulled him aside to talk and he lost it. Screaming, cursing and I saw the first screaming walk out I have ever had in 17 plus years. The next day we realize a chainsaw is missing. Bennie, one of the best people I get to work with, does some detective work and figures out that this guy had taken it and pawned it. He calls him on speaker and the guy says I can have the pawn ticket to recover the saw if I GIVE HIM HIS JOB BACK! I couldn't make this up. I do the whole police report thing, go to the pawnshop, ID my stuff, the police create a felony warrant for him and life moves on. I'd been i touch with the police and it seems he moved so they cant arrest him until he appears somewhere. Here is the kicker. A few weeks later I get a call from a fellow arborist who specializes in plant health care. The guy had applied for a job from my friend and GIVEN ME AS A REFERENCE. I told my friend the story and he sent me the guys new address from his application. We called the detective and gave him the new update. It was a solid two minutes before the detective could stop laughing long enough to take the information.
One more tale. In the middle of April I got sick. Nothing huge, I went to urgent care and they ran the tests, negative for COVID, negative for the flu, negative for strep throat, just a bad upper respiratory infection. I'm too low rent to even have a name brand disease! This infection had my nose clogged up and I was mouth breathing while I slept. Up every hour with dry mouth and had to drink water. On Thursday April 20, about 1:20 am, I wake up, drink some water and look at my phone. One of my trucks was moving! I have trackers on al my trucks and get alerts when they move at inappropriate times. I had let an employee take it home and I was not happy he was driving my work truck in the middle of the night! I called him and woke him up. He looked outside and we realized my truck was stolen! This is where my installing trackers on my trucks paid off. I quickly got dressed, jumped in my truck and headed out to catch my stolen vehicle. I called the police. I was driving, looking at the tracker app on my phone and talking to the 911 operator. It was intense! the guy was driving all over Goulds (a south Dade neighborhood) i was telling the police which turn he took, which road he was on, which direction he was moving in. Soon enough i was close. I saw two police cars, rolled down my window and yelled "follow me, he is right up there". They followed, it was like a tv show, then i see my truck, it's rolling across the road in from of me left to right, it just rolls across the street at maybe 5 miles an hour and plows into a house. There is another police car following him, and I pull over. It seems the guy had jumped out of the moving car and ran for it. There were lots of officers in the area by now and they quickly set up a perimeter and started searching. Soon there was even a police helicopter with a searchlight. They called in the police dogs next. Eventually, about 6 am, the dogs found him underneath a shed and took him in to custody. I was allowed to check out my truck and thanks to a commercial steel bumper, it has little damage, but my stump grinder and blower were gone from the bed of the truck about $5000 in equipment. I gave my statement for the report, but I was still furious over the loss of equipment. I decided to check the tracker app in my phone and backtracked to the places he had stopped my truck and what do you know? I spotted my equipment behind a shed! I called the police again, recovered all my stuff and now, at 9 am could finally go home and get back to bed.. This is the life of a small businessman.
Hypoxylon Canker in ficus
Hypoxylon canker is a disease that is effecting the trees in the ficus family of trees here in South Florida. Earlier this month we had to remove three large ficus benjamina over 67th ave in PInecrest because they were slowly tipping over into the street, The Hypoxylon had rotted out their roots and they were in imminent danger of collapse, blocking one of the major thoroughfares in the village. If you see large spots, dark, almost tar-like in color on your ficus trees, get them checked! Infected trees will shed large limbs, even trunks weighing hundreds or thousands of pounds without warning.
Call me for a free Hypoxylon inspection 305-588-3091