August 19, 2007

If a tree falls in your backyard, you will hear it

VALOIS, N.Y., USA - While I have been battling my cold, the work and projects have continued including dropping a 60-foot pine tree in the backyard that was mostly contributing to, well, it wasn't contributing much at all.

But, the best laid plans of mice, men and guys who make a living dropping such huge trees sometimes go astray. Wildly astray.

In the photo below, look at the line that is being used to keep the tree from falling south - into our neighbor Mary's yard. On the other end of it is a fellow keeping tension while our tree cutter does his work at the bottom.

Tree to fall north
Tree is supposed to fall north - to the left

But, after cutting it at the bottom, it was clear this old pine wanted desperately to go in the other direction. So, our intrepid tree cutter went up on a ladder to make another cut to give the tree a little incentive to fall where it was supposed to.

Tree needs some help
Encouraging the tree to fall properly

Sometimes enouragement is not enough and after a minute or so of cutting, there was a lot of yelling, flying ropes and the woodcutter and tree fell down in a wild heap, south, not north.

Whoops, tree fell south
On the ground. Note where the ladder ended up

The woodcutter was ok: youth, spryness and a heavy dose of luck kept him from ending up atop his ladder, but under the tree.

We're ok, having only witnessed - though it convinced me that my late-in-life aversion to chainsaws and dropping big timber serves me well.

Instead, my job is to plant grass seed where such trees once stood.

That's tomorrow's project.

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