*Warning: Picture Heavy Post*
It was a sad weekend here in ThimbleannaLand a few days ago. You might remember that I’ve mentioned the Emerald Ash Borer in previous posts and how they were happily eating their way through our ash trees. This past weekend was the day for the tree cutters to clear out all of our dead trees. Mr. Tree Cutter and about 6 of his buddies showed up bright and early in the morning. When they cranked up their chain saws, the kitties ran to the windows to find out what all the commotion was about.
They started in the backyard where the tree cutting was a little more difficult. For various reasons, they couldn’t just drop the trees in the old-fashioned way.
I was fascinated, watching them all work. There were two guys who climbed the trees. This guy scaled this particular tree, cutting limbs as he ascended.
Once he had most of the branches off of the trunk, he backed down the tree a bit and started working on the trunk.
When he’d cut through the trunk, he would drop his chainsaw so that he could push the trunk over in the best direction.
It seemed like there should be some sort of dangling chainsaw ballad playing in the background.
Working his way down the tree.
In the meantime, there were guys on the ground, sawing the tree into pieces and loading them onto a trailer. Branches were fed into a giant grinder/mulcher/thing.
After the they finished the trees in the backyard, they moved to the frontyard. I moved across the street and sat on a rock. I channeled my inner PW and took a picture of Marlboro Man the tree climber in his chaps tree straps. (Hey, there has to be a little levity here, ’cause this was not a happy day.)
The front yard was a different operation. There was room to let the trees fall. Here Mr. Tree Cutter cuts the traditional notch in the tree.
They tied the tree to the front of a pickup and used the pickup to pull it in the right direction.
You may remember seeing this particular tree before.
It’s the tree that provided a safe home to the baby Cooper’s Hawks a few years ago.
This tree made a huge crashing sound (all those limbs breaking) when it came down. Not gonna lie. I sat there on my rock and shed a tear or two.
Four more trees and they were finished. Three hours total work to take down years of tree growth. We’re left with 9 stumps.
There is one little ray of sunshine though, at least for now. For some reason, the tree below hasn’t been dying like the others. I was just sick about three weeks ago when I noticed a few leaves gone and realized that it too, is an ash tree. I LOVE this tree. It’s so different and people comment on it a lot when they come to visit. It stands there tall and straight all by itself. It’s fun to stand under it and look waaaaaaay up to where the leaves start. Just four days before it was scheduled to be cut down, a tree guy was here for another reason and he suggested that we try to treat it. He said they’ve learned a lot about treatment in the last year (we’d been told a few years ago that it probably wouldn’t work) and they’re having great success.
We’re one of the first states to have the EAB and it’s estimated that we’ll lose 20% of our canopy here. That seems high to me, although we see dead trees a lot. For us, it’s probably about 25%. Hopefully, by the time the EAB spreads much farther, they’ll have treatment perfected. It costs about as much to treat a tree as it does to cut it down, so there’s not much to lose! Anyway, we’re really hopeful (well, I’m really hopeful — TheManoftheHouse doesn’t seem to be terribly attached to the trees like I am) that our one remaining ash tree will survive.
So, we’ll see. If you’ve made it this far, thanks for sticking with me and the tree cutters!