View From Purcell, Oklahoma: Trimming Trees is not for me....Anymore

Trimming Trees is not for me....Anymore

Last year we purchased a foreclosure property to rehab and flip. Immediately after closing I head home and change into my "work" clothes. I grab the chainsaw and 13' ladder and head out. Oh, almost forgot...grab the cellphone, my wife requires it, since I am going to be alone. (What a worrywort.)
You see, the property had not been properly maintained for years on the outside and was abused on the inside. I figured I would start clearing the tree limbs off the roof, out of the guttering and try to get the shrubbery and volunteer trees under control. Get the basics under control while waiting the final estimates for the real remodel work.
I spent several hours cutting limbs back, checking shingle damage (dang, worse than we roof required) and trying to get the shrubbery under control. Finally, nothing is touching the roof or guttering and what is still hanging over the roof is at least 5 feet above the shingles.
Time to get down and check it out from the ground.
Looking pretty good, but a few of those big branches are still too close to the house. They are 10' - 12' high, but are drooping and are getting close to the roof and gable end of the house. Fortunately, I have a 13' ladder and can take care of that little problem!

ladderFirst few cuts are fine. Branches drop straight to the ground. Now cutting a limb about 10" in diameter, standing at the top rung (not the top of the ladder, I'm not a complete idiot...not far from it, but not COMPLETE). The branch snaps, swings down and knocks the ladder out from under me. I tossed the chainsaw and had enough time to think "This is gonna HURT", before landing on my right side and the back of my head smack the ground.

A rather large miasma of purple and red exploded in my head. Don't think I was knocked out, but I definitely couldn't breathe very well. Managed to sit up and shut off the chainsaw and then get my cell phone out of my pocket.

Called my....mother. (Really it was the logical choice. She lives closer and my wife had our two kids and two neighbor kids with her.)
Mother: Who is this? (I am sure I sounded like a heavy breathing pervert.)
Me: Your.....son..... (I hear the phone move away so she can check caller ID.)
Mother: WHERE ARE YOU! I'll be right there! Do you need an ambulance!
Me: I....don'
<click> 10-15 seconds pass and phone rings
Mother: I'm on the way and I called an ambulance. I told them if you didn't need it, I probably would.
Me: Fine...............

Ambulance arrives fairly quickly considering I am out in the country. They put on a neck brace, cut off my shirt, load me onto a back board and slide me into the ambulance. Off we go! (These country roads are a little rough!)
Fifteen or 20 minutes into the trip, the EMT says: "Okay, we are coming to a little bump, so be prepared."ambulance
BUMP then Me: I don't a.....little...bump!
EMT (Wide-eyed): We, ah, well, but we don't.....
ME (interrupting): ..failed..... (Note to self: Gritted teeth seem to remove the humorous tones from your voice)

Anyway, three broken ribs, a collapsed lung, 6 hours and one chest tube later I get admitted into the hospital. (They were hoping my lung would re-inflate on its own.) BTW, you DO NOT get painkillers when you have a collapsed lung AND you do not want a chest tube...ever! But that will have to be another story.

Four days in the hospital, one huge medical bill and I "saved" a couple thousand dollars not hiring the trees trimmed.

Licensed to SELL - Dedicated - Experienced - Honest - Than Maynard - Purcell, OK

Head shot

Than Maynard
REALTOR, CRB, Certified Short Sale agent, Certified Foreclosure Agent, Accredited REO Agent
Coldwell Banker Heart of Oklahoma Real Estate
1726 N Green Avenue, Purcell, OK 73080
CELL: (405) 990-8862
OFFICE: (405) 527-3012



We never stop moving 3d

Comment balloon 17 commentsThan Maynard • June 30 2011 07:10PM


Ah yes, but now you have a story to tell your kids about how tough their old man is, and that is priceless. 

Posted by Jason Frey (PureWest, Inc.) over 8 years ago

I thought this was going to end well and you just went the opposite with it.

Ouchy. Did you feel pain right away? just wondering since I never had that happen before. And did you just lay there until they got there?



Posted by Angelia Garcia over 8 years ago

Did you get the tree limbs trimmed?   Just kidding, hope you hire that job out from now on!

Posted by Scott Freedle (Metro Brokers Freedle and Associates ) over 8 years ago

Jason: Yes, it makes a great story. I might ad the rest later.......

Angelia: I felt the pain immediately. Laying there is probably too strong a term. Writhing? Yes, I stayed on my back writhering until they got there and it wasn't much better then.

Scott: That was just about the last branch. Although I didn't get the stuff cleaned up, someone else had to finish. And yes it will be hired out from now on.

Posted by Than Maynard, Broker - Licensed to List & Sell - 405-990-8862 (Coldwell Banker Heart of Oklahoma) over 8 years ago

Ouch!  I need a painkiller just from reading your story, Than.

Seriously - thank God that you are okay.

I'm going to forward this to a couple of DIY friends of mine - this may literally save them from a tragedy.

Posted by Fred Griffin Tallahassee Real Estate, Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker (Fred Griffin Real Estate) over 8 years ago

Yes, Fred, I agree - OUCH!! In more ways than one. So thankful you had the sense to have your cell phone handy. What a terrible and painful experience. Glad to hear you are mending... and not planning to do this again.

Posted by Carla Harbert, RE/MAX Omega: Lorain-Medina County Area ( over 8 years ago

Than-I"ve done the same thing, at a much lower height, and with much different results. Be careful my friend. Best.

Posted by Adrian Willanger, Profit from my two decades of experience (206 909-7536 over 8 years ago

Fred: I missed a concrete slab by about two feet, so I was definetely being watched over and thanks

Carla: Thank you. I am a little slow sometimes, but I learned pretty fast on this one.

Adrian: Glad you had better results! Thanks

Posted by Than Maynard, Broker - Licensed to List & Sell - 405-990-8862 (Coldwell Banker Heart of Oklahoma) over 8 years ago

That sounds so painful. I’m so glad you are still here to tell us about it. We do have to learn the hard way sometimes but I think I'm just going to read stories like yours and then hire the right people to do the job.

Posted by EC, JF, Double R and Zoey the Cool Cat (Russel Ray Photos) over 8 years ago

Quite a story. Glad you survived this. But chain saw? Dropping it? Could be worae.

Certain things really should be hired out. Think of what your time (never mind your health) is worth, then go from there.

Stay healthy and in good spirits!

Posted by Pacita Dimacali, Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA (Alain Pinel) over 8 years ago

Eric:That is why there are professionals, I guess. Like using a Realtor to sell a house instead of DIY. :)

Pacita: Actually, I threw the chainsaw. Had enough time to get it out of the way, but yes it could have been so much worse.

Posted by Than Maynard, Broker - Licensed to List & Sell - 405-990-8862 (Coldwell Banker Heart of Oklahoma) over 8 years ago

I left a surprise for you in my blog this morning. Let me know when you find it. What? You thought I was going to tell you what it is. Ha! Although this comment is a clue.

Happy Saturday!

Posted by Not a real person over 8 years ago

I came here from a reblog. Since this was written a while ago, I'm hoping you're okay now. That's quite a fall you took. You told the story very well. You even made it funny.

Posted by Jill Sackler, LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate (Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500) over 8 years ago

Lets get an update on how you are doing???  Sounds like something that we may do to save $$$, we got smart in our old age about trees and now hire most everything done if it has to do with trees.

Posted by Mary Macy, Top Agents Atlanta Metro (Top Agents Atlanta Metro) over 8 years ago

Well, effectively your medical insurance covered the tree trimming costs.  Great way to save a few bucks:)

Posted by Mike Carlier, More opinions than you want to hear about. over 8 years ago

Jill and Mary: Yes, doing much better been about 1 year. Doesn't even twinge anymore, although this first winter after being healed might tell a different story.

I have a big elm tree that died this summer. Looking for someone to hire.  :-)

Posted by Than Maynard, Broker - Licensed to List & Sell - 405-990-8862 (Coldwell Banker Heart of Oklahoma) over 8 years ago

E.J: Pretty much, but I missed quite a bit of work. And missing work when self-employed and the only bread winner is not a good thing.

Posted by Than Maynard, Broker - Licensed to List & Sell - 405-990-8862 (Coldwell Banker Heart of Oklahoma) over 8 years ago