No one really wants to knock down trees, unless you’re one of those guys ramming a bulldozer into the Hometree in Avatar. Tree removal is expensive, dangerous, messy and an F-U to woodland creatures. Sometimes, however, it’s a necessary evil. Laurel oaks, beloved for their shade canopies and majestic charm, are nearing the end of their 50-to-70-year lifespan all over Tampa Bay. Falling limbs are threatening homes, particularly in historic urban neighborhoods where mossy canopies loom large in tight spaces. Finding a good, affordable tree service to tackle these goliaths is no small feat — especially in the wake of Hurricane Irma. Storm cleanup is big business, and tree companies are busier than ever — which means homeowners need to be more discerning than ever. Gary Ross, owner of G’s Tree Service & Landscaping, not only gets the job done, he does it for a lot less than most of the other guys. Ross and his motley crew of lumberjacks do it all: climb, grind and haul away. Ross, a St. Pete resident who got his start in lawn maintenance, specializes in complete takedowns and doesn’t back down from a challenge. On one recent job, Ross had to demolish an old carport and deck in order to reach a tree. Most companies balked at these obstacles. Rolss just plowed right through them. Contact Gary Ross: 813-447-7365. —Heidi Kurpiela
Local business is good business.
Who would’ve known that we’d spend our mid-30s (and beyond) collecting buttons and pins for our lapels and guitar straps? Thanks to the comic book-inspired selection at Tampa’s Bronze Age Buttons and veteran local comics artist/musician Josh Sullivan’s wide variety of enamel pins both cute and snide, getting older (and throwing around our disposable income) never felt — or looked — so cool. —Ray Roa/Scott Harrell
Suncoast Credit Union Website. Convenient local branches, access to thousands of ATMs, exclusive member seminars and sponsored events throughout the community. www.suncoastcreditunion.com