I was told by old lady next door that the previous owner, "didn't believe in cutting God's trees." So this tree was in serious need of some shaping. We didn't need a bad winter to bring our tree down on all the houses around us.
We had it trimmed, preserving the hive. The tree was stunning! Amazing shade, lovely rustling in the Petaluma wind, happy home for honey bees.
When it came time for grading the property and replacing the fence in June 2015, there was a bit of argument with the neighbor behind us about the roots pushing up their concrete. We also couldn't grade back too far to avoid damaging the roots. It made a nice bulb out feature around the base of the tree with our block wall we put in.
I called an a tree company that could do after hours work to try and secure the bee hive branch. The last thing we needed was for that to crash, sending thousands of angry bees into the air. Long story short, it did crash. The poor tree guy got stuck in the tree above the hive and was stung a bunch in the face. It was really, truly horrifying to watch. The tree guys called it a day after that. Nothing worse could happen with the tree.
The upside of this is the love of my friends. I had a big work party and lots of people came out on their weekend to help. Everyone brought succulent cuttings and little potted plants to donate. We unearthed the broken concrete stepping stones that had been around the tree, raked the sawdust, and reset the path. I kept the wood chips from the tree, so there was a ton of mulch to shovel. It got spread over the whole yard. It was really a balm on my soul to have my friends come and help. To see them working in this space and to put their positive energy into it. That sounds kind of woo-woo, but it feels good. It looked pretty good, too.
A tree will get planted here in the fall. Probably a camphor tree, I grew up with one and they are fast growing and good for climbing.
I still miss my tree, but I am learning to love my yard without it.