Friday, June 25, 2010

When Trees Fight Back

Jason really didn't want to take down these last few trees.
The only place to fell them safely was up the hill.  The problem was that it's hard to put the trac hoe down hill of a tree and get enough leverage to push it over.  When the canopy of the tree is mostly on the downhill side, you don't get any help from gravity, either. 
The tree, loosened from its moorings, will want to just fall downhill -- back on the trac hoe.

So, he dug carefully around the rootball and then built a ramp.  It was like an invading army building a ramp for the siege engine.
When the ramp was tall enough for the siege engine to be able to reach high enough upon the trunk to move the tree, they began to push it.
Things got a little tense and scary when the tree decided to retaliate and started coming back on Jason.  He had to shout for his helper to come with the bulldozer and help push.
I retreated to higher ground.  It was the equivalent of peering between my fingers.  I didn't really want to watch.  I was so afraid the tree would get them both.  But I was the only other soul there, and I knew I had to watch to call for help if the tree retaliated and squished them. 

There was a tense moment.

And then another.

And finally the tree was defeated and fell up the hill. 
After that, Jason and his helper decided that the siege engine needed a little help.
A carefully placed notch on the uphill side of the tree followed by a team effort: one man pushing with the trac hoe and one cutting - poised to exit quickly- on the back side of the tree.

In the evening, the log trucks came and took the logs away to Drew's mill. 

They brought two trucks and made two trips. 
Next we will grind the brush pile and root balls into mulch. None of our trees will be taken to the land fill. They will all be returned to the lot, either as flooring, millwork or mulch.


  1. Wow - lots of tree drama, on top of the permit drama that you already lived through! It makes me think through all of the trees that are coming out on our lot...

  2. Hello, I'm visiting form TTI's Inspired House. I sure enjoy your sense of humor. I'm sure there will be many more humor opportunities ahead for your family. We wish you the very best on your new house. -Terry Kearns

    P.S. Those tree guys earn every dime. And those plumber guys get awful jobs done. As a plumber friend says, "smells like money."

  3. Thanks, Terry! I'm having fun with our project. There is so much that can stress you out, but there is so much to wonder at, too! I choose wonder over stress.

    Welcome aboard!