Garden Diary - March 2021

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Tree Work
Wednesday, 17 March 2021

Trees do not live forever. Some have lives that are relatively brief. Others, much longer. Then there are happenstance issues such as disease, rot, storm damage. Last year w had seen Steve & Son doing some work for our neighbors and asked him to come and give us a quote. He came late in November 2020, to give us his opinion of what we wanted done, and an estimate. We knew full well that the work would not be done before next year - winter is too uncertain, weatherwise, for anything except emergency situations. Having come to an agreement, it would be in mid-March 2021. To do what? For example

There's a tulip poplar, Liriodendron tulipifera, with a very poor Y-shaped crotch. There's rot in there. For years, squirrels have disappeared down in there to nest and raise their pups. Now the rot is progressing even deeper into the trunk. The tree is too close to the house to wait for it to fall on its own. It might come down in the wrong direction.

Big tree. Needs a bg saw. Also on hand, plastic wedges and well used gloves.

Starting to fall. That's Duke in the white hard hat at its base.
Gives you some scale and an idea of just how big the tree is.

The tree was in such poor shape that some branches just broke off
when it landed. Not suitable for firewood so it was all disposed of.

Steve & Son Tree company has a really nice bucket lift truck. The boom
is 45 feet. It has an internal 15 foot extension. Plus the height of the truck.

The men are laying heavy duty plastic mats across our front lawn. Why?

Because Wyatt is going to drive the boom truck onto the grass and the mats will
protect what passes for our lawn. There are even extra pads for the stabilizers.

And that sheath on his leg? It is for a curved pruning saw. When up in the bucket and clipped into a safety harness Wyatt needs his tools conveniently to hand. The chainsaw has a secure sheath up there too. The controls for the boom are in the bucket.

Here is the oak tree before Wyatt gave it some much needed attention.

And as you can see the boom not only lifts, it can be angled too.

And after pruning, arborist type work, the crown is lifted and trunk cleaned up.

Peer through the early February snow at the dead ash tree behind the rhododendron. See the yellowish color on the right side? That is called "blonding." The lighter color is the inner bark, where woodpeckers have removed the outer bark while searching for emerald ash borers.

Duke makes the felling notch on the side of the tree in the direction he wants it to fall.

Cut made on the opposite side and slowly, gravity takes over and the tree comes down.

The boXer is a charming little rather expensive machine. Tank-like treads allow it to go most anywhere. The grabber in front deftly snatches up sizeable logs or a "mouthful" of branches and debris, hauling it away under the guidance of the operator standing in the rear.

The ash logs are brought around to the driveway where Paul will cut them to 18-inch stove length, then split, and finally - stacked for next winter's use. Paul estimates there is about a cord and a half of firewood. Ash is good, green or dry. And this was standing dead.

We've arranged for Steve to come back in early fall for an estimate. To do what?
Not sure at the moment but I know we'll find something. Ongoing arboriculture.

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