Archive for September 29th, 2010

Penn State University was having a one day sale on Fir trees. My wife and I decided to purchase three Canaan firs. Yes we live on 11 wooded acres, but that doesn’t mean the trees are all where we want them. At the very top of our driveway there are five dead trees and we decided we could cut down the dead and dying and plant new ones.

I asked, okay my wife asked my neighbour if he would help, and as always John was more than willing. So there the two of us were, chain saw in hand looking up at the trees trying to figure out how tall they were, and how to cut them so they wouldn’t fall on the power line or the well head for John’s house, or the houses themselves. After very careful geometric planning using the contours of the ground, the wedge shape we would cut out of the tree and the velocity of the wind, John and I came to the conclusion that the trees, undoubtedly would fall down. For one tree John suggested we use a rope to pull the tree in the direction we needed it to fall. Of course that would mean one of us would be pulling the tree towards us…interesting. As I was getting ready for the first cut John was trying to figure out if the term ‘widomaker’ referred to the instance where the tree kicks back taking out the logger while on the forest floor, or if the term refers to when the logger is actually in the tree and the kickback knocks the logger out of the tree. I was trying to puzzle out why it mattered, either way the probability of survival seemed pretty slim, hence the term ‘widowmaker’.

A few thoughts came to mind as the wood chips started to fly:

1) We should probably be video taping the project so we would have something to show on America’s funniest video’s.

2) I really hope the insurance was paid up.

3) This is probably not the smartest idea I’ve ever had seeing that John’s expertise on the subject came from lying on the living room sofa watching ‘Axemen’, his favourite character being some guy named ‘Swamp Dog’. My expertise came from the school of, ‘I am way to cheap to hire somebody to remove and clean up these trees’.

The trees came down and to our amazement nobody was hurt and no property was damaged. I spent the rest of the day cutting tree limbs from the trunk and reducing the trunks to manageable sizes. There are a few logs and one nest of branches still atop the driveway waiting to be cleaned up but other than that the day was a success. Unfortunately and mainly due to weather the new trees are still in their pots awaiting a permanent home in the ground. I’m pretty sure even swamp dog would have been proud.

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