Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Cedar Tree

Our deodar cedar tree was about 50 years old, reached about 70 feet in the air and had a canopy spread of some 30 feet. It had suffered from pruning over the years to take the branches away from the house, so it was rather lopsided. Friday was its last day in this world, its fate sealed by the fact that it was located exactly where our new bedroom will be.

The Arborist arrived with a crew of five guys in hard hats, two tree debris grinders, two trucks and a massive crane. This is a picture of the front of the crane jacked up at the edge of our drive.

The crane reached at least 90 feet in the air: It had to, so it could reach the top of our 70 foot high cedar tree. The process was this: Tree guy shins up tree, attaches ropes to piece of tree, cuts piece of tree off; then crane lifts piece of tree clear of the house and other trees, bringing it down to rest on the side of the road. Pretty amazing to watch.

The main part of the tree came down in four sections. Each was enormous. At one point the road was blocked by our fallen branches, but only for a couple of minutes. The tree grinding machine soon dealt with it all.

After the branches were all dealth with, another truck came along to gather up the remaining pieces of trunk. The crane lifted them into place too.

The piece de resistance was the removal of the 10 foot high pine stump from the back yard. Rather than cut it into pieces - a task that would have taken the best part of the day by itself - The Arborist decided to have the crane lift that out too. So the stump was cut down, then attached to the crane's lifting arm. Up it went, up and up and...over the house...over the porch (at which point I decided to go back inside)... and onto the front lawn. The crane driver said it weighed 3200 pounds, which is the weight of a car. It was quite a sight to see this great lump of wood swinging over our roof.

Several of our neighbors came out to watch the tree removal at one time or another. No one challenged our right to remove the tree, thank goodness, though I did have the building permit to hand just in case. Everyone mostly seemed to be amazed by the crane and the way that big ole tree came down so fast - in less than four hours altogether.

We now have a stump in the front yard waiting to be ground down on Monday. It is sitting by the house like a grand table. Of course it isn't a perfect circle, but at the widest point it was 60 inches in diameter, and at its narrowest it was 50 inches. Very impressive.

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