An “Earth-Shaking” Reminder about Preventative Maintenance

by James Florence


For those of us who put off preventative maintenance, an extraordinary occurrence can serve as a sobering reminder. Photo: Best Tree Service (2014)

Like most people, I have a tendency to assume the minutiae of details surrounding my life will continue to function smoothly, whether or not I acknowledge them. However, once in a while, an uncommon occurrence rouses me from my usual state of complacency. A recent instance followed the Napa Valley earthquake of August 24, 2014.

As a resident of Santa Rosa, I was on the outskirts of the quake’s radius and only mildly felt its effects. The next day, however, as I walked onto my back deck, I was immediately struck with an eerie sensation. “Do we always get shade at this time of day?” I thought, as I looked up at the towering California Redwood that stood in my backyard and saw the tip of its crown eclipsing the midday sun. Had the tree moved during the earthquake? Had it sustained damage? Had its structural integrity been compromised? Mulling these questions over, I couldn’t decide if something was indeed different or if my misgivings were merely the product of paranoia brought on by the quake.

To be on the safe side, I contacted a local tree service company to schedule an assessment—after all, I couldn’t recall how long it had been since the tree was last examined. Later that week, Justin Greer from Western Tree Removal Specialists stopped by and, following a thorough inspection, gave me his prognosis: the tree was in good health, and the only concern was a triple trunk formation, for which he recommended a steel cable bracing in another five to seven years.

While I was relieved about the good news, the situation was also an eye-opener for me. I realized that it shouldn’t have taken an “earth-shaking” event for me to pay attention to my property. Not knowing the condition of my tree, my neglect could’ve resulted in damage to my home, personal injury or worse. Additionally, I recognized that this lesson about preventative maintenance equally pertained to the way I regard my home, my car and even my personal health. Truly, the notion of being proactive (rather than reactive) about maintenance is a principle that can be applied to virtually every aspect of our lives.

So, here’s to taking initiative in caring for the things we so often take for granted rather than waiting for the ground to shake beneath our feet.

Find a Diamond Certified ­­­­tree service company in your area