There were too many trees out back, some so high they were dangerous. If one of those passing storms came, the kind that tore off roofs and stripped shingles, a sky-high pine could definitely rip out its roots and crash down on our home. It was a serious fear of homeowners in New Jersey’s Pine Barrens, where many families like ours owned almost an acre. There was one tree in particular that had to go, Dad said, and he was going to do it himself. He didn’t need to pay someone to cut down a tree. He had a chain saw, an ax, a pruner — The same tools the professionals use, Dad said when he and Mom argued over it. Dad won, because what man wants to be told he’s not tough enough to cut down a tree? He could fix cars and split wood with ease. This would be simple, he told her.