Dwarfed by a tree no more

November 2012

When we bought our small farmhouse almost 30 years ago, we knew this day would come. Still, it was a hard, sad decision to make. Cutting down a healthy tree should never be done lightly. This one just got too big, too close, and was starting to cause damage. So it had to go.

The crew arrived early in the morning and got started. The limbs came off first, twenty or so courses of huge branches, many the diameter and height of small trees. We saved most for firewood, stacking them in the yard, and chipping the ends and greenery. I'd dug up all my perennials and herbs from the garden around the tree, but a lot of limbs hit the ground harder than expected, and even I didn't expect these branches to be as long as they were. I was scrambling to find buckets to cover plants I thought would be out of harm's way.

The tree was about half limbed up in this shot; you can see how massive the trunk is when compared to the 6 ft. guy up there on the tree. You can also see how close the tree is to the garage and house.

When the tree was just about halfway shorn of its branches, I walked down the private road and took a shot to compare with the first one.

The tree is finally topped about noon; time for a lunch break. The crane arrived and set up, Mark headed up the tree, and started cutting it into chunks.

The first chunk of trunk was cabled off, and to my horror, the crane operator lifted it right over the garage on its way to the truck. Yikes!  Mark looked down and saw the look on my face, and called over to the operator. "Swing it around the other way next time!"  This log is ours, destined for firewood.

The last three sections of tree went into trucks to be hauled away. At 5-6 ft. diameter, they're too big for us to split for firewood.

This huge chunk of trunk was lifted straight into the steel-walled truck, where it rolled to one side and promptly bowed the sidewall out. Oops. Out came another loggers chain saw, and one of the guys hopped up into the truck and started cutting it into slabs.

This section of trunk was the last one we kept, and I stood next to it to check the diameter...  it came up to my waist.

This section went onto a flatbed truck, and it looked just like a log in a toy truck as it drove out the driveway.

The last section of trunk was the shortest, and the heaviest at 5400 lbs. The base of the tree was 6 ft. in diameter, so you get an idea of how big this hunk of tree is.  It went straight into the big chip truck, and the crane operator managed to get it nearly all the way inside, even with a partial roof on the truck. Dave got out the tractor and pushed it the rest of the way in.

The house looks a bit naked now, without its sheltering Douglas fir,, and I will always regret the necessity of taking it out. But I'm loving all the light that now makes it to the ground, and come spring, this flower garden will be happy to have sunlight.

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