Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Tree

We have had a huge beautiful fir tree. It stood just on the edge of our lot and gave our backyard loads of shade. It was probably 70-80 feet tall.

We needed to take it down. Aside from its beauty, it also offered loads of stress each and every time we got any kind of a wind storm. It would bend dangerously toward our house. It also dropped lots of pine cones on our yard and sap on our neighbor's boat. So, for the safety of our home (and neighborly relations) we went ahead with the plan to have it taken down.

Our neighbor knew a guy who knew a guy who is a lumberjack. We chatted with him because we had some concerns about dropping it across our backyard because of our septic system and our desire to not break any part of the septic tank or field. But the guy was AMAZING! I've never watched anything like it. First he cut all of the branches and dropped them down. Some he had to lower with ropes. He was so good he could lower them to the spot he wanted them and even lay them down the direction he wanted them pointing. Here he has just started with the smaller lower branches.

Then, he topped it. We asked how far up he figured he was and his guess was 60 feet. I'm so glad it wasn't me!

Here it is with no branches just after topping it. Yes, that is his chainsaw swinging as he started on his way back down cutting sections as he went. We had a muggy, slightly overcast morning. Sorry for the bland, light gray background.

Then he dropped pieces that were about 6-8 feet. This was what I was most impressed by. He would cut through the tree and then push the piece off and as it started to fall he would move it just slightly and he could get it to drop in the exact place he wanted it. The pictures so doesn't do it justice. Those pieces were so heavy they needed two men to roll them after they hit the ground. Here is just after one started to fall. They landed with a huge thud.

Here it is all down and ready for loads of work clearing. The guy cut all the sections into firewood length for us. Now, all we have to do is split it. We will not have to buy firewood until 2030!

My husband counted the rings and figured that the tree was about 120 years old. Here you can see on the other side of the fence where our neighbor has tried to cover his boat with a tarp. We get some pretty vicious wind storms through here and he has had a tough time keeping the tree from messing up his boat.

We (of course) kept all the animals penned up for the morning. After the tree was down we let the chickens and goats check it all out. Finley had a blast jumping from stump to stump. A few stumps were big enough to give her a challenge.

The side benefit of taking down the tree is that our yard will get quite a bit more sunlight. Including our garden which wasn't getting any afternoon sun. Hopefully things will grow better (and faster) now.

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