When we moved into our home back in June 2015, two majestic Queen Palms stood sentry in the front yard. Next to them was a tiny oak tree, kindly deposited by a bird. Two smaller Queen palms stood tall in the backyard. I’d never owned a house with palm trees and it seemed like a rite of passage living in California. Even Neil Diamond sang about them in his song, “I am, I said,” so they couldn’t be that bad, could they?

Well, palm trees are not inherently bad, but they need regular care. They drop long messy fronds, mushy orange berries, and they love to procreate little baby palm trees in the nooks and crannies of the yard. Plus, the taller they grow, they look like skinny, grey elephant legs which aren’t as lush as when they were smaller.

For the last (almost) five years, we’ve put up with them. But each time we had them trimmed I grumbled, wishing they would fall over in a windstorm. Or maybe someone would beg to take them away and give them a new forever home. But alas, it didn’t happen.

Two years ago, we got bids on removing them. Prices ranged from $500 – $1000, including stump grinding just for the front yard trees. We decided against removing them. The timing wasn’t right.

A few days ago, we started getting bids again. A few tree service company owners stopped by, gave bids and said to call them when we decided. One asked for pictures, then sent a bid via text. Bids ranged from $500 – $1000 again. Flummoxed, we pondered our next step.

And then the most interesting thing happened. A truck pulled up in front of our house. And not just any truck. It was a tree removal service complete with bucket lift, wood chipper, and a full crew.

I wondered, did they come out to offer a bid and then do the job on the same day? Watching out the window, I realized they were headed across the street to take out a large, overgrown tree for the neighbor. Well, me and my curiosity couldn’t be contained. I walked outside and went across the street to inquire about a bid. After all, when the universe sends you a tree trimming truck and crew, it’s not in good taste to ignore it, right?

The foreman came over, sized up the trees in front and back and offered to remove both palms in the front yard (including grinding) and trim the ones in the backyard, for $500. It seemed doable, but I told him we’d think about it. Toward the end of the day, he came back and knocked on the door. Before I could say anything, he said they’d do it for $400 since they would still be in the neighborhood the next day.

It was an offer we couldn’t refuse. This morning, the crew showed up and removed the front yard Queens. It was interesting to watch the tree trimmer in the bucket as he took care to cut them down and grind the stumps while protecting my little oak tree. Afterwards, they trimmed the Queens in the backyard.

Now the look of our front yard is different. And me? I’m thrilled to look out my front window and just see my little oak tree.