>> Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Today was tree-cutting day here at the site of the new Gratz Industries HQ. To tuck our home back up against the forest as far as we could, we had to take out two trees that would otherwise be standing in our kitchen. A third tree, a white pine, was smothering the birches and mountain laurel we'd like to foster, and was, according to Brent the Tree Guy, a dangerous tree to have so close to where our house will eventually be. Seeing as we've had a constant wind up here (which we hope to one day harness with a wind turbine!) we thought taking that one tree out would be sane. Trust me though - we're the last people to arbitrarily cut down trees, and we plan to plant far more than we've taken down. (And we're recycling the wood chips in our plantings and garden!)

Okay, now that I've hopefully satisfied any environmentalist complaints, on to the awe of watching large trees falling to the earth!

Brent's crew got here at 8:30 a.m. I didn't know when they were due to arrive, but thankfully I was ready for them. Yes, I was in bed in my underwear with the lights off and the window shades drawn, but I was just resting my eyes! (As Jo would say after a two hour nap.) With the sound of tires on gravel I hopped out of bed, threw on a t-shirt, shorts, and hat, and I was out the door to greet them.

They started with the big pine. On the right, you can see one of the guys scaling the tree, trimming out the branches as he climbs. The guys below him fed them into the chipper, which collected there on the bank behind it for us to use later. (See? I told you.) Watching that chipper in action, all I could think about was Fargo. If you've seen the movie, you know what I'm talking about. If not, well, I don't know if I should say. This is, as I've said before, a family blog. But seriously, this is about as close as I wanted to get to that thing.

Up and up the tree he goes . . .

Did I mention this is a very TALL tree?

Once he got near the top, he attached a rope to the pinnacle and two guys at the bottom tugged on it while he gave the tree a lobotomy:

Next, before felling the rest of the tree, they took down the tulip poplar next door. These are the two trees that would have been in the footprint of our home. Don't look at the leaves in this picture - it's a jumble. (The light was rough too - overcast and sunny, washing everything out.) Look instead at the tree trunk on the right, and you'll see that it's on its way down. The other end of the rope? It's attached to a pick-up truck, which is pulling it down!

And boom, it hits the ground.

After bringing down the white pine (which I didn't get pictures of) they finished the job on the pine. You can see what's left of the white pine tree at the feet of the guy cutting this one down.

There it lies, on a bed of wood chips.

And that was it. It was a lot of chainsawing and a lot of wood chipping all day long, but I've written with worse going on - especially when I worked at the radio station. These guys were great, and one of them even gave me a ride back into town to pick up the Cavalier! Now that's what I call service . . .


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