Autumn in the North Cemetery.

Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?

These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.

Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...

...seems to be working so far

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Small Town Service Excells

We are very fortunate here in town to have some excellent people that offer outstanding services. We sometimes never hear about them, unless it is word of mouth. Recently, I was in a quandary about an Ornamental Crab tree beside the house. It is about 40 feet tall and in the spring it is covered with little pink blossoms. The foliage is thick and gives a nice shaded area to that side of the house. When we bought the house in 2006 we noticed the leaves of the tree began to fall sometime in July, and within a few weeks about one half of the trees leaves were on the ground. I did some research and determined it could be from a fungus called Apple Scab. The following spring I sprayed the tree with a fungicide as directed on the bottle. The tree still lost its leaves.

What to do? I mentioned the problem to a friend of mine and she recommended an arborist. She gave me a few names in the area, and I called one on the list. He confirmed my suspicions, and set up a treatment plan of three sprayings of the tree. The last spray was yesterday.

Here is what impressed me about the man. He assessed the tree first before he came over to spray, confirmed my suspicions, and when he did arrive to do the spraying he removed the bird feeders and bird bath from the area and placed them behind the house. Not a bit deal moving the feeders, I know, but shows where his head is at, and I like that.

I met him for the first time when he arrived for the first spraying. He was dressed in a white disposable coverall with hood, goggles, and had a respirator mask dangling from around his neck. He looked like he should be in a Science Fiction movie. This is another thing that impressed me. If he cares about his own welfare chances are very good he cares about his work. I strongly recommend this professional for any tree needs you may have. Sometimes the best just comes out of the blue. Click on the link above, or at the bottom of the page for more information.

I won't know for sure if the spraying cured the problem for a few weeks, but the tree is looking very healthy now, and last year before the leaves began to fall I could see the early signs of a problem at this point. None of that happening at this time.

Another business in town I really like is MicKnucks. MicKnucks is a small grocery store, and deli in Fiskdale beside the Blackington Building. It is a no nonsense type of store that offers the essentials, and none of the things you don't need. They take pride in the freshness of their fruits and vegetables, and their deli section is excellent. They offer many custom sandwiches, salads, and such. The meat counter has the best fresh meat available. In one section of the store is a space dedicated to a bakery. This section operated by a baker and has great fresh baked goods offered every day. I am not a connoisseur of fine dining, or fine shopping, but I know what I like, and I like a clean place, fresh food, and staff that are happy in their work. Except for the daily paper, and occasionally a free sample from the bakery, there are no point of sale things offered at the register. This is a good thing. They don't need to make that last minute buck at the register. Their products sell them selves, and that's all they need to do.

These are just two of the businesses I have encountered here in town that offer great knowledgable service. there are many more, and over the summer I will mention them as well. I may even mention the ones that need a bit of improving as well.

Keep in mind, praise and criticism are both steps on the road to perfection.

For more information on the arborist mentioned above click here.
Photo above: The Crab Apple from a second story window.

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