It seems like every year I have to ask Bob to stop by with his chain saw and take down a number of trees. Earlier, as you know, I had two large ash trees removed professionally. They were far too large for Bob to handle safely (though he probably could have).
I've mentioned to him that I'd like to get the rest of the dead pines taken down before winter. A week ago I asked whether this weekend would work. He said it would. Bob, Mom and I went out to eat at Captain 9's in a late celebration of Mom's 90th birthday at 11:30 am and then we came back to Pinehaven, changed clothes and got to work.
I had five or six pines dead in front of the hen house and near the log pile. That was handy for stacking the logs today's work generated. I asked Bob to begin cutting the left-most trees and work to his right as time permitted.
Turns out this bluebird house bit the dust when the wooden bracket that held it got sawed in half. "Well, hell!" Bob yelled as the birdhouse rolled across the ground. No problem. The house itself wasn't damaged and I've already rehung it no worse for the wear.
Cutting all the small debris which fell into the yard was the hardest part of the job. I dragged smaller limbs to our brush pile at the back of the property. We just threw smaller stuff into the meadow to decompose.
Any log big enough to use in the fireplace we kept. Smaller pieces - like this one - got thrown out.
This was the next-to-last tree Bob cut. All fell pretty much exactly where he planned. He's good with cutting notches in the trunk of the trees and planning a landing sight. He has a good feel for how they naturally lean.
This last tree turned out to be the greatest challenge. It was larger, as you can see, and already leaning toward the hen house. "Will it hit?" I asked Bob. "I'm going to try and make it fall to the right of the hen house," he said.
And he cut this notch with that in mind ...
This shot is of the tree just beginning to fall. Mom was watching through the kitchen window. "I had a ring-side seat," she said. I told her she had probably dialed 9 and 1 and had her finger hovering above the final one. Luckily, that wasn't needed.
Oops. The tree fell part way and ... stopped. Now what?
Bob sawed the base of the tree the whole way through. Still the tree wouldn't fall. It was caught up in branches of other nearby trees.
And this was as far as it would go until we threw a rope up into it and dragged it down. Even that was a two-step process, eventually the obstruction weakened and the tree toppled to the ground. I'd say it missed the hen house by all of two inches.
We then carried logs to the pile and limbs to the brush pile and finally raked the yard.
I'm left with only the double-ash at the back of the property which is dead. There's nothing nearby that it can harm if it falls and it's beyond eyesight. For now, we're just going to let it be.