The Saga of the Damned Tree


The Saga of the Damned Tree

Iron Tree Service is a local company, tasked with providing service throughout the area—that’s the east coast of Massachusetts. They came to my rescue as a result of the circumstances outlined in my story, Adieu, Dear Tree.

My neighbors were up in arms over Mother Nature’s felling of one trunk, which littered their yards with huge portions of the tree. There were three trunks left. Our Mother’s Day Nor’easter had done its damage.

Dennis was my first contact with Iron Tree. He was personable and professional. I signed the contract he sent me immediately. They would remove the fallen trunk from all of my neighbors’ yards and the litter it left behind. The rest of the tree was to come down. Note the stump was to be cut low.

One of the neighbors, Mark, had harassed my insurance company, Norfolk & Dedham, to the point where they no longer answered his calls. He had adopted a threatening posture—telling me that someone was going to pay for the storage of his boat. I knew I could be a target then.

The Building Inspector had been called along with a retired Fire Marshall. I had received a pointed letter from one set of neighbors to the property, basically accusing me of sitting on my hands.  The letter’s date is June 1st.  I had already contracted with Iron Tree and had been advised against having any further contact with the affected parties by a lawyer.

Mark finally caught me on a call and started telling me of his demands for my insurance company. I angrily told him I was declining his instructions and sided with Norfolk & Dedham. I felt my insurance company had gone above and beyond. I parried his verbal thrusts with thrusts of my own, leaving him little option but to shut up and listen to my tirade.

They came with cranes and cops and tree grinders promptly on June 27th.

But then they stopped and left this:

I was not happy. The men stopped working on the tree, with no explanation and headed to Mark’s yard to take down a tree for him. They did a beautiful job for Mark. I was not happy with the mess. The yard is bad enough without the trunks being at least level with one another. I called Dennis, and he told me there was metal in a portion of the tree that was nowhere near the fence. This was not true. There was no metal in the trunks of which I was speaking. He put me off and never satisfied my inquiries. I felt they had stopped working on my tree to go work in a man’s yard who did his level best to frighten me.

To put it plainly, I felt screwed.  Dennis’ avoidance of me made me feel powerless.  My signature had to go on the paperwork to get the work done, but a large corporation came up with the funds.  I was simply a scrawl on a piece of paper.  It was infuriating.  Dennis, in no uncertain terms, told me I was not the customer–Norfolk & Dedham was.  As a psychologist, it is safe to say his people skills are lacking.

I waited nearly a month and called again. I spoke to a man who promised to call me back. He was going to inform Dennis of my inquiry. I received callbacks from neither man. I called again today and spoke with the secretary. She informed the owner as to my inquiry, and owner John called me before a meeting to let me know he’d get back to me as soon as he was free. He did and said he wanted to see of what I was talking. He was at the house a half-hour later.

John took pictures and promised to get to the bottom of my inquiry. I walked him to the other property, and he took pictures of that finished job. My claim was that they could have, at least, leveled the trunks. He left with a promise to get back to me.

And get back to me he did in short order. He brought with him an arborist. Mike shook my hand as his boss had and explained the inner workings of the tree. Its innards, it seems, had crumbled to a dirt-like dust and made it impossible to cut any lower.

“Why didn’t they tell me that?” I asked.

I had taken the position that men typically told women nothing for fear they would not be able to understand. But I’ve wrestled with power tools all my life, as I’ve bespoken in Never Separate a Lady From Her Tools.

Iron Tree, in the end, was helpful and gracious. The contract was not for grinding the stump; it was for cutting it, and they cut it down as far as possible. I am left with a blight, but it is not their fault the tree was so gnarly. John did a few things to make my life pleasant, and I am grateful. He allayed my concerns.

Iron Tree has an interesting Blog Here. Almost everything you’d want to know about trees is in residence. They are consummate professionals and know their stuff. But if you meet Dennis, and you’ve got appendages on your chest,  look-out—he doesn’t like dealing with the ladies from my perspective—especially the old ones. Perhaps he thinks he’s a chick magnet, but this old broad could care less.

Copyright 2017 Joyce Bowen
About the Author:  Joyce Bowen is a freelance writer and public speaker.  Inquiries can be made at
Sobre el autor: Joyce Bowen es un escritor independiente y orador público. Las consultas pueden hacerse en
My Patron site.  Please support my work.

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