Friday, May 27, 2011
Trees Get Sick and Die
Like everyone here, we have a number of big-leaf maples on our property. They are wondrous trees and only in the middle of winter when I feel saddened by the fact that I neglected to rake up all their enormous volume of leaf fallings, am I sorry to be their owner.
There is a pair of maples right outside our back door that grow straight and tall: about 40-50 feet tall and with a big spread. They're not all that old, and you would expect them to live a very long time, indeed to outlive you so that you don't have ever to deal with getting them removed from their spot. Unfortunately, one (and perhaps both) of these maples has run into hard times. In fact, has run into being dead. The last couple of years, fewer and fewer branches have had leaves, and this year, one side (it's a tree with a split trunk) of one of the maples has no leaves at all. So, yesterday, in a brief spell of not raining, Ed and our two visiting 20 year/old grandsons took to cutting the maple down.
That starts first with planning the cut and the fall. Step two involves getting out the 24-foot ladder and toting a massive amount of climbing ropes out to the porch. Harnesses, belaying ropes, sliders, all kinds of stuff gets attached to trees, ladders, boys, and then up somebody goes with a pruning saw to start the cut. Ed prunes stuff around here all the time and he figured it would work fine. But he had forgotten that even a medium-sized maple tree is hard wood, not soft wood, and the pruning saw, after about 20 minutes of diligent work up on top of the ladder, wore out the grandson.
Next, the neighbor's small chain saw was appropriated and Ed went up the ladder with all the appropriate ropes now attached to him, and within moments, the top 15-20 feet and all its attached branches came crashing down. Another fifteen minutes of rearranging and the next 20 feet of trunk was gone. The neighbor quickly cut all the pieces into firewood; the grandsons packed it into his cadillac of wheelbarrows, and within an hour total, our dead tree was gone, totally gone. Bye!