CLOSED: Hornet's Nest?

Ozark, MO(Zone 6a)

Now that leaves have dropped, I was surprised this afternoon to see this thing high up in a maple tree in our back yard. It's big, about 18" from top to bottom, and it's about 35' off the ground.

Thing is, this is only a few feet away from our patio where we spend a lot of time barbecuing, etc., in the warm months. I'm very surprised to see it because we really didn't notice many stinging insects around there this summer. OK, there's a big wisteria vine shading the patio and bumblebees were thick on those blossoms when it bloomed, but I know bumblebees nest in the ground. We often see a few mud-dauber wasps under our eaves, but they're building their little mud-tube structures - not this.

Insects aren't very active now, of course - but WHAT BUILT THIS, and will they cause a problem next spring? I'd be happy to leave it alone if it was further from the house, but I don't know if I can. Just getting rid of it would be a problem, there's no way I can reach it. I think I'd have to wait for a cold day to be sure nothing comes swarming out, then blast it (quite a few times) with a shotgun. I hate to do that. What am I up against here, and can I safely live-and-let-live and leave it alone? Thanks.

Thumbnail by Ozark
Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

wow, classic paper hornet nest.
My hubby had one in a tree many years ago. He and his buddies drove up to it in a car and tried to knock it down with a softball…it got more comical from there..and they were just on their lunch hour, no alcohol involved.
That's so far off the ground, I guess that is why they didn't feel the need to announce themselves to you.

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