Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Tree Felling

Mr M had several days off work last week, so we decided to buckle down and get moving on some outdoor projects that I couldn't handle by myself.

We had time to do them in the fall, but we allowed other things to get in the way. With a potential move in another year or so, we decided it was really time to stop procrastinating and finally get them done.

The two main projects were the treehouse (more on that in another post) and taking down two trees. One came down part way about a year ago and we moved the upper portion out of the way, but the bottom half of the tree needed to be cut down and chopped up still. We didn't actually get that one cut down because the other tree took too long, so we'll do it another time. It'll be much more straightforward since there's no branches to get tangled up and caught on other trees or the shed.
it's not super noticeable now that the trees have leafed out, but it was very visible this past winter

The other tree was right where we park the cars. We've been careful about where exactly we park so we don't hit the tree, but we want to put in a carport and the tree is in the way. Since this was an intact, and very tall, tree surrounded by other tall trees, it took a bit more finesse and work to safely take down. Thank goodness for YouTube videos showing what to do (and what not to do).

Glad I didn't have to climb the ladder- I just held it in place while Mr M did.
We knew we needed a rope attached to help guide the tree down, and this was the only way to do it.

We followed the instructions on cutting a hinge in the tree, but we had to pull the tree down because some of the upper branches got hung up on the upper branches of a neighboring tree and didn't want to come loose. That was the part that took forever. Mr M tried a variety of ways of tightening the ropes, but none of it was enough until we tied the rope to the CRV's hitch. The CRV didn't really appreciate being used to pull down a tree, but it provided the extra leverage we needed to disentangle the branches and allow the tree to come down.

hinge cut

The initial lean. The hinge was too thick, so Mr M carefully went back and cut it a bit smaller.

The final lean. This is where it was stuck for awhile- its branches hung up on the branches of the trees around it.

It finally came down, right where we wanted it, and Mr M started cutting the branches off.

The tree extends across the circle to where we used to park the trailer.

Sunshine helped load the branches on the trailer so we could take them down to the brush pile by the other shed.

Another issue we ran into was that because the tree was alive, the wood was very wet, which the chainsaw did not like. We normally wouldn't intentionally kill a perfectly good tree, but this one was in a problem location. It's dropped branches on our vehicles in past storms (both the CRV and truck have/had scars from branches)  and contributed to the acorn damage (who needs hail when you have acorns?) to our vehicles. Removing the tree cuts down on the potential damage to our cars, but there's still plenty of trees left to cause damage, which is why we want to put in a carport. A garage would be better, but the budget can't handle that, so a carport is the next best thing.

Right now we're letting the wood dry a bit so we can chop it up without killing the chainsaw. And I'll be getting quotes on the carport install. We'll also have to have some gravel hauled in to level the parking area where the carport will be.

I was on the deck with River while Mr M and Sunshine were working on the tree. I was working on a project (more on that next week) and trying to keep River busy. He REALLY wanted to go help daddy, but since he was using the chain saw, that just wasn't an option.

I love this picture! Can't you just feel how much he wants to be down there, helping?

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