Sunday, April 28, 2013

Tree Removal

 There it had stood for all the twelve years of our living at this address--a beautiful slim mountain ash (according to my husband) or white birch (according to me--but I don't know enough about trees to know who's right).  It didn't deserve to die.  I felt like a murderess.

This last winter had left several of its branches broken, including one that was too high to reach, even when using our highest ladder.  Also, a big low spot in our lawn had developed around its base, which made it difficult to mow the grass in that area.  So when Don asked if I thought we should just remove it, I said, "Okay."  Mind you, I had just got home from a nearly four hour walk to Provo and back and was not quite in my right mind, but my vote was the deciding one, so Don got out the skill saw and his bigger chain saw and went to work, lopping off limbs and then going into the trunk itself.  My job was to hold the rope taut so the tree wouldn't break in such a way as to damage the roof of our house nor knock Don off the ladder.  It came down just as we wished, and all that was left was the stump.

 We loaded all the branches into our utility trailer and cut up the top part of the trunk into logs for our wood pile.

That was on Thursday afternoon, April 25th.

I went out after dark and took a picture of the sad left-eye markings (like two half-faces, one above the other) dolefully looking at me with down-drooping mouths.

On Friday, Don cut a large circle of the sod into sections to be moved out until the stump could be removed.  On Saturday, he and I removed all the sod pieces and began digging down and cutting the roots.  A neighbor (Daylor Thompson) showed up with his shovel and helped us until lunch time.  We took an hour or so break and then finished up cutting all the big roots.  Don hooked the stump to his truck hitch using a chain.  He had me look carefully to see if it moved at all when he put the pressure on it, but it didn't.  So we dug and cut some more.  After awhile, the man in the red shirt (Kenneth) (whom we had never met) stopped and asked if we could use some help.  We tiredly agreed.  He had a bigger truck with a Geneva Rock logo on the side.  He said he had pulled out several stumps with his outfit.  We tried it with our chain, but it just broke a large bolt and bent a hook.  We decided to go ask Daylor if he had a larger chain.  I went over there and found that Daylor had a cable which he had used earlier this year to pull out his stump from a winter-damaged tree at his house.

Don had brought out our heavy duty chain, and they tried that first, but the result was that the stump tipped over and got some big gouges on the lower part, as you can see.  The next pull stripped a bunch of bark further up the stump.

After some deep discussion, they decided to wrap the cable around the roots section as well as the trunk.  A man walking from the store with his daughter, had stopped to watch, and I had brought them out a glass of lemonade.  We were all watching with baited breath, wondering what would happen next.

As you can see, it finally came out.  Don cut a lot of the roots off and Daylor and I removed more dirt from around it to decrease the heaviness.  Kenneth went back to his house to get a strong dolly, and we managed to roll the stump onto the dolly and wobblingly take it over to a city dumpster across the street by the park.  Fortuitously,  this had been left for a Springville city clean-up this weekend--one of those tender mercies you've heard about.
One of my neighbors saw me out shoveling dirt back into the hole and asked me if I was burying someone, as it looked like I was digging a grave.  Another told Don the next day that it looks like a meteor landed in our yard.  We are waiting till Monday to try to fill the area with enough dirt to make it more level and easier to mow.  
So now, here is what it looks like (from nearly the same point of view as the first photo, and during the same season of the year).   Was it worth it?    Well, I really do enjoy my view out my bedroom window where I can see more of the mountains now--but I still feel a little like a murderess.

1 comment:

Jenae said...

I love your writing! I love you!