Yesterday's article was all about a wonderful photo trip through our neighborhood with three of the grand kids. Today, though, we're getting serious about that wonderful old catalpa tree in our front yard.
If you look carefully, just to the right of the house is a big tree leaning to the right. We were very concerned that it was not long for the upright position. Our driveway and neighbor's home to the right in this image is in the path of the direction of the fall if this tree is left to its own devices. We were certain the drought this summer didn't help since the root system probably had been compromised by lack of water. The neighbors hadn't said anything and probably didn't even notice from their angle.
So, we called The Tree People. Yes, that's their name. This company had removed a much larger oak tree from our back yard in 2003 so we felt comfortable calling them. Their estimate was reasonable and they got on the job quickly.
The first three men showed up and we chatted while we waited for the man who does the specialized work up in the tree. Notice the tilt of the tree up the driveway to the right of the house.
Most of the leaves were gone from this tree for the season.
I was sad to see the vines go, though. The vines have a story of their own. No, I don't think the vines killed the tree. The tree was there 31 years ago when we bought the home and has gone through two severe droughts now. Catalpa wood is soft and limbs come down easily.
Soon the real specialist arrived. Watching this man work was fascinating. He had all the gear strapped on and was ready to go in minutes.
While he was getting ready, the chain saws were being fueled.
Soon the action began.
He is a real "tree hugger." (I'm sorry about that, I just couldn't control myself.)
These images of the men standing beside it put the size of the tree into perspective.
The man in the tree systematically tied off, then cut sections of the tree that were pulled in a safe direction by the men below.
The men below continued to guide the large chunks of wood to the ground.
I've (wisely) moved over to the porch to take pictures.
The men have now worked down to the part of the tree that is completely covered with vines.
The men on the ground worked on sawing up portions of the trunk...
...while the "climbing man" began the final cuts.
He carefully planned where the tree would fall...
This looks really scary to me.
Here's a video of the finale.
Then clean up began.
These guys did a great job of cleaning up the mess.
They left the fireplace length pieces that will be the next project for My Honey, our daughter, and me. We need one so often, we're shopping for a log splitter.
I counted about 130 rings in that tree stump. And, you can see we were right when we were concerned about the health of the tree. The center was decaying and the tree could have easily come down on its own in a storm.
But, don't worry about the vines. I'll be sure they live on. Some healthy cuttings are busy growing roots in the dining room. :)
The Tree People will be back with a stump grinder soon, then we'll rework that area of the garden.
I feel much safer now that this tree is down even though its removal changed the whole ecosystem of our front garden. I'm glad I got it all recorded and hope you've enjoyed seeing the project, too.