Thursday, June 16, 2016

More Ashes Bite the Dust

 It hasn't even been a year since we had Joe's Tree Service here to remove a couple of dead ashes (see that story here). Now, at the rear of our property, two more ashes stand dead, the victim of the Emerald Ash Borer.

 Really they've been dying for the past couple of years. Every time the wind blows, I've had to walk around and pick up limbs before I could mow. Finally I'd had enough and called David to come and give me as estimate. He was here for that estimate on May 14 but has been busy taking down ashes that were close to homes and thus provided an insurance risk. Our two trees were not near anything and provided no risk ... except to me when I mowed.

 Yesterday he and his crew of two arrived just before noon  and got to work. They finished at nearly 6 pm.

 The two ash in question are those on the right side of this picture. I've always thought it odd that two trees were planted so close together. Maybe they came up naturally and were just left standing? In any case, they were here when we moved to Pinehaven nearly thirty years ago.

 Neither tree was particularly huge. Even so, rather than just cutting them down, all the lower limbs were lopped off first, some with a hand-held chain saw (as shown here), others with a chain saw attached to the end of a long pole.

 The chipper/shredder was parked near the work area so the debris didn't require pulling very far. It's a noisy and dirty operation on a very hot (88°) and humid day. While they were working, a Severe Thunderstorm Watch was issued but we had no rain here until they had finished.

 The chipper/shredder seems a particularly dangerous piece of equipment. It can take sizable branches and reduce them to sawdust in a moment.

 Here's a look at the cloud of sawdust exiting the machine. There's just a loud "buzz" as the machine tears into a limb.

... and here's a look at the powered saw on the end of a pole. It makes reaching high branches manageable (though I think still not easy). In most cases, as a branch came free, this guy had to move quickly out of the way. At least he didn't have to climb the tree or need a bucket truck as they did last summer.

 Most of the lower limbs are gone now and one of the main uprights is down.

 The next time I looked the tree was reduced to rubble.

 This work creates quite a mess but both men finished with rakes and left the lawn in great shape. There was no more than patches of sawdust remaining when they left.

 So now we have quite an open view to the west. It's a bit shocking actually.

 When they were nearing the end of their work, one of the men pulled the chipper/shredder onto our south lawn. It sat there until they had finished.

 By 6 pm, the view west looked a bit bare. This time I didn't pay extra to have the trunks removed. Seeing as how they are at the very rear of our property, they won't be spoiling the view too badly. I'll just have to continue mowing around them until they eventually rot. That, I doubt, will be in my lifetime.

... and once last look, this time facing east towards the house.

 Am I finished with tree removal? Hardly. Lots of pines are either dead or dying so there's plenty of work in the years ahead. I think the rest that will need to be taken down are small enough that Bob, Tom and I will be able to do it. But I'm giving each a chance this summer, see whether the early spring green results in still-living trees or whether each is just a cruel tease.

 In any case, the rest of the work will probably be ours.

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