In 24 hours an appraiser arrives to assign value to our home as part of a refinancing “journey.”
An hour or so ago…a woodpecker assigned itself to our cherry tree.
Or maybe it’s a plum (tree).
I initially thought nothing good can come from this coincidence. You want everything to go smoothly at an appraisal. Make sure there’s nothing unusual going on nearby. Draw no unnecessary or unusual attention to your environment. Clean. Straighten. Repeat.
At one end of the spectrum the bird is banging away 24 hours from now and that repetitive, rhythmic sound will be unsettling during the appraisal.
At the other end of the spectrum the bird brings the whole tree down during the appraisal…a tad more unsettling.
Thank heavens the house doesn’t have wood siding.
Perhaps some background on the family tree of the cherry (plum) tree is in order here…for example, it had a living mate at one time.
When we bought our home about twelve years ago we also inherited two cherry (plum) trees curbside between the front yard and the street. They provided some spectacular blooms each spring, followed by a relative handful of cherries (plums) either devoured by the local bird society or gathered up by my wife and I.
Until the spring of 2012 that is.
The winters of 2009-10 and 2010-11 were two of the worst in recorded history around here. 70-plus inches of snow both of those seasons. Brutal. The winter of 2011-12 was the exact opposite. The snow blower never even left the bullpen that go-round. It was cold at Halloween but that winter…not at all.
Apparently the weather trifecta planted the seeds for the cherry (plum) trees to pollinate so vigorously in the spring of 2012 we can safely rate their fertilization activity as “XXX.”
(You may be wondering by now why I’m not sure about cherry/plum. One of the two trees failed to bloom a year ago and was put out of its misery. The consultant for the tree service, while agreeing the tree lived a long and…fruitful…life…couldn’t figure out why the developer put actual fruit trees so close to the street as the surface tends to radiate heat and bake them out in the summertime. He also couldn’t figure out why I was calling them cherry trees as he insisted they were plum trees.)
In the late spring and throughout that summer of 2012 my wife and I were picking up on average 50 new cherries (plums) a day off our property, many far removed from being intact as they were but birdy leftovers if not outright victims of physics – gravity versus ground.
Our bird community enjoyed this all-you-can-eat buffet early in the process but clearly struggled with dining out as the warmer months slogged on. We inadvertently committed them all to Weight Watchers for the balance of the year as my wife and I picked up hundreds of pounds of fruit in various stages of decomp.
Picking fruit off the ground daily is rather labor intensive, proportionate to one’s age and physical condition of course. I considered myself to be in reasonably good shape but being bent over for a 1/2 hour straight a couple of times a day revealed a whole mess of muscles I didn’t know were available. My wife felt the strain of this never-ending harvest as well.
We were going to trim the cherry (plum) trees back anyway but the situation got so sticky we had a tree service come out sooner and trim both back to stop the carnage…better leveraging our chances of not having any reoccurrence in the years to come.
Back to the present day now with the one remaining cherry (plum) tree now under appraisal from a woodpecker…mind you the VERY FIRST woodpecker we’ve ever seen or heard in these parts…a day before the home appraisal.
This remaining cherry (plum) tree is still very much alive so the objective was to keep both woodpecker and tree alive…for at least 24 hours.
Off to Ye Olde Internet to find out how to deal with the woodpecker…
“All species of woodpeckers are at least somewhat protected by federal and state laws. This means intentionally killing woodpeckers is illegal.”
Immediately learning this was helpful in that I no longer needed to waste my time chasing solutions that could lead to its demise. I was simply trying to get it to find another tree to hang with.
“Just because you see a woodpecker pecking on the tree does not mean that there will be damage.”
More helpful news…the tree might not suffer any long-term damage after all. So…why was this bird even out there in the first place?
“Woodpecker holes in trees happen for a variety of reasons. In many cases woodpeckers are going after insects in the tree which means not only do you have a woodpecker problem, you may have an insect problem. Other types of woodpeckers may be creating holes in your trees so that they can get at the sap. Other reasons a woodpecker may be pecking on trees is to build nests, attract mates and even store food.”
I’ve never seen any insects on the tree (flying around the fruit on the ground was another story entirely). There is sap on the tree on occasion. Geez, I would feel bad if the little dude or dudette was just hungry…or trying to find companionship. Maybe a temporary solution?
“Decoy predators, such as plastic hawks and owls, can be used but stop working quickly once the woodpecker determines they are not actually a threat.”
“The best way to stop woodpecker damage is to keep the woodpecker from getting to the tree in the first place.”
“Loud noises such as hand-clapping, a toy cap pistol and banging on a garbage can lid have been used to frighten woodpeckers away from houses.”
“Hi there Mr. Appraiser…”
“Yes, I am VERY happy to see you.”
“Noooooo, it’s not a real gun.”
“How DID you know “Stomp” is my favorite musical?”
Fortunately, after what sounded like forever the little one ceased its loud, highly focused excavating operation and moved on.
Until tomorrow? We’ll see.
Before it departed I kind of got a picture of it in woodpecking mode. (Zoom function only…the woodpecker is at the base of the tree on the right-hand side)
Though the woodpecker apparently did not appraise our tree at a particularly high value here’s hoping in 24 hours the appraiser does the opposite with our home.
Knock on wood.
Have you ever experienced any unforeseen realtor/appraiser challenges?
Have you ever hosted woodpeckers?
Are cherry and plum trees really all that similar?