How to Safely Chop Down a Tree
There’s a tree in the front of our house that has been there since we moved in. It shielded the front window from the afternoon sun and always attracted pretty birds. Until it didn’t. This Spring the tree stopped growing, stopped producing leaves and just stood there with dried up twigs for branches and no sign of life. It seems we now have to chop down a tree.
It reminds me of a story that my hubby tells about his little brother. When they were kids his brother left crickets in a box out in the sun. Obviously the died from the heat. Well, in an attempt to revive them he put the box of crickets in the freezer, because naturally if the heat killed them the cold should bring them back. But when my Father in law found them and realized what he was attempting his response was “when something is dead, its dead”. The same goes for our tree. It is dead.
The fact that the tree was dead didn’t stop our neighbors from coming over to talk about the tree and how Ms. Florence, the previous homeowner used to climb up on a ladder to prune the tree, and how she took care of it. Maybe they were pointing out that we should’ve given the tree the same care in their nonchalant way, or maybe they were just remincscing themselves, mourning the loss of a tree that reminded them of their old friend. Never the less, as sad as it is the tree is dead.
Chopping Down a Tree from Top to Bottom
Since this isn’t the movies and we aren’t in the forest we cant just chop the tree down at the base and yell “timber” as it falls. No, we must safely chop down the tree. Starting from the top the small branches were cut away with the chainsaw. We had to be extra careful because some of the high branches reached up to our electric lines. Lord knows we don’t want to take those down too. Bit by bit and branch by branch the pieces fell. Notice hubby even put on his plaid flannel to get into full lumberjack mode to chop down a tree. It’s also a good thing that we moved my truck from the driveway since many of the branches landed there.
Chopping Down the Tree Trunk
Once all of the smaller branches were removed safely it was time to cut down the tree trunk. Again, we still cant chop at the base and yell “timber” so the trunk was cut down in sections at a time. As the chunks of the tree trunk were cut lower and lower they were piled up to be used as firewood. Waste not, want not. As we approached the very bottom of the tree trunk we also realized that it had rotted and the center was even hollowed out from rot.
Removing Rotted Tree Trunk
To break up and remove the rotten trunk the stump was cut in a criss-cross pattern creating squares.
Now, you know that this wouldn’t be a family project without the kids running around. No worries though, they were kept away from the chainsaw and falling branches at ALL times.
Back to that stump. The cut squares allowed the pieces to be easily removed with a shovel. Parts were so soft that they actually crumbled and were able to be kicked loose. You can also see how deep the hollowed center goes.
Covering up the Old Tree Area
Once the tree stump and root have been fully removed we covered the area with dirt and threw down grass seed. Its as if it never happened at all.
Firewood and Relaxing by a Backyard Fire
The small branches were tied up and put to the curb for garbage pick up while the larger pieces of wood from the tree were stacked up.
The wood certainly won’t be wasted around here. There’s nothing like sipping wine and relaxing by a fire while your children try to kill each other in the background. 😉 Cheers!
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