I asked the guy for an estimate on our own tree work: the tall sweet gum had to be removed, since its roots were damaging the garage and its leaves were damaging the roof; the arborvitae's roots were damaging the garage; one big limb of the crabapple was shedding leaves onto the roof; and the pear tree also needed to be trimmed back to not shed on the roof. He looked at the work we needed to do and said that since the neighbors had already paid the setup fee for the crane and other trucks to come out here, he could do the work today for $450. This is an extremely good price for this job--$1250 would not be an unreasonable price. So I said yes and wrote him a check.
Because I acted so swiftly, though, I didn't get a chance to give Lori any forewarning. So she came home and found two trees heavily cut back and two trees missing--and she's been shocked and sad about the loss. She's felt particularly sad about the sweet gum tree, which she really liked--and sadder because she didn't get a chance to say goodbye.