What To Do With Dead Trees


Randy and I visited friends last month and painted the old appliances that someone dumped on their mountain years ago. It was fun. I can’t wait to go back next month to continue the project. Ever since then, I’ve been wanting to paint something. I don’t identify myself as an artist in any way. I have no patience. I don’t like long projects and I have the fine motor skills of a toddler whose hands are covered in peanut butter and ice cream. But I can spray paint the shit out of something.

We have two dead trees in the yard that really need to come down.

There is some debate on whether or not they’re dead. Because they’ve both sprouted a few pathetic leaves, Randy says they’re not dead. He might be right…but at the very least, they are mostly dead.

We’ll have them removed next year. This year? We’re going to beautify them.

In an instant message conversation with my work friend, Priscilla, Queen of the cubicle, I tell her my plans and this what ensued. She is so weird.

PQOTC: Any plans for the weekend?

Me: Just going to mom’s for father’s day. It’s going to be nice out this weekend so we’ll probably just hang out on the deck.

Me: Did I tell you what we’re going to do to the two dead trees in the back yard?

PQOTC: I don’t know if I want to know.

Me: Instead of chopping them down, we’re going to paint them. Well, not the whole thing, just as far as a step ladder can reach.

PQOTC: Oh, I thought you were going to say that you’re going to nail a bunch of baby dolls to them.


Me: WHY THE FUCK? Seriously, THAT is what you come up with?

PQOTC: I watch a lot of scary movies. And you’re twisted.

Me: Not that fucking twisted.

Me: Although..

Me: No. No baby dolls. The paint will piss the neighbors off as it is. And that makes me happy.

PQOTC: I figured you were going to do something to piss someone off.

Me: Speaking of happy. When I came back from lunch I got here just in time to see the FedEx guy dump all his boxes off his cart. It made me smile.

PQOTC: It’s the little things.


We are skipping ahead here. The painting happened over the weekend.

painted trees

This one still needs work.

painted trees 2

All in all, I’m counting this past weekend as productive.

Sure, there’s still mold in my shower and my kitchen floor is a breeding ground for the plague, but we got the trees painted! Yay!

This project also makes me really appreciate the fact that Randy was adamant about finding a house in a neighborhood without a home owner’s association.


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  • PQOTC would appreciate my husband’s approach to a walk among the majestic redwoods in N. CA. He waits until the maximum number of tourist cameras are aimed at a particularly fine specimen and announces, “Now *this* would make some damn fine coffee tables. I’ll bet we could make enough to pay for the new hot tub without having to cook any more meth!”

  • I like them! The reason we live where we live is because there are almost no trees. We’re in the Pacific NW and there are fucking trees everywhere. I have nothing against trees, but they block the sunshine and drop crap, which doesn’t endear them to me. So we live in a very rare (for our area) open field with only one or two trees near us. And I won’t care if they die. And if they do die, maybe I’ll paint them! Or nail baby doll heads to them. Or wrap them in yarn. Or all three! I bet my kids would help. It can be a family project! Now I’m hoping for my trees to die.

  • You could engage in a second career as a street artist – get PQOC in on it – she has the right aesthetic. You’ll make millions. I think the trees look cool – how much do your neighbors suck that this would piss them off?

  • I am WAY into this idea. And the trees turned out really cool looking. I assume it has made some of the neighbors mad though. Have you gotten any grief? If they bother you about it, I say go with the baby dolls next.

  • Way to rock your trees – what an awesome idea !!!!! (Not sure the tree huggers will agree with me but pffftt who worries about tree huggers ?????)

  • Randy is smart, HOAs can be the worst. Some people bought a little café in Castro Valley and painted the front of it bright purple to let everyone know there were new owners. The local HOA sued them and made them paint it dark gray or some shit.
    Some people paint their trees to keep the bugs out of them, but I think they use special paint. After tomorrow I might not have any internet access for a little while, so if I don’t comment for a minute, don’t trip. I’ll be back soon.

  • Pretty! I especially like the ribbons — they add just the right finishing touch! Speaking of nailing things (and no, this story is not going to be dirty) — when I was working in radio, I had a friend/coworker who told me the story of the time some girl in high school pissed her off. My friend found a dead cat on the road and nailed it to the girl’s front door with a note telling her to watch her back. I was VERY careful from then on out not to piss off my friend.

  • Ha, I had a neighbour who created war because I planted shrubs, marigolds and roses in my front garden and put some rocks in my borders. She’d have had an apoplectic fit if I’d painted my trees. I wish I had…and nailed some dolls heads to the trees as well!

      • Apparently she didn’t like marigolds and had to look at them from her window, she preferred just to see a lawn…did I mention that this was my garden and not hers? Silly old bat, she did cause a serious war because of it!

  • The painting looks great, but I also think the baby dolls are a spectacular idea. Edgy.

    My neighbors are thinking of reviving our Home Owners Association so they can put some CC&Rs in place, so I think I’ll be painting our trees this weekend, got to get that shit grandfathered in.

    I’m going to save the baby dolls for the front door.

  • “I have the fine motor skills of a toddler whose hands are covered in peanut butter and ice cream”

    Yup. This is my life.

    We also have no HOA, though we hadn’t looked out against one specifically. I’m profoundly relieved we dodged that bullet. Also, happily, the city took down a problem tree we had in the front yard, before we had to do anything about it. Conveniently, it had grown up into the neighbor’s electrical wires.

    Isn’t owning a home fantastic? >.> I have a guy coming on Wednesday to look at the leaking dishwasher, and have to call the guy who just installed our NEW high efficiency hot water heater ’cause it’s got a blinking light ont he front. Being a grownup sucks sometimes.

    • Yeah…I rented my entire life before buying this house. When my baby boy graduates in two years, we’re seriously considering going back to renting. Renting is easier.

By Michelle


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