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*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘widow makers

Trees Trimmed

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It was a lucky Friday the 13th for us yesterday. The professional tree trimmers we contracted with finally arrived to spend a day felling and trimming multiple large trees. When the job was quoted, it was easier to see the many trees in our woods that had tipped and become hung up on surrounding branches. Now there is just enough greenery beginning to sprout that the views are a little more obscured.

When the two-man crew arrived, the horses were highly curious about the mysterious-looking machinery that rolled over the first hill of our driveway.

They just as quickly came to accept the racket made by dueling chainsaws as no big thing, even though the bucket mechanism the guys were using looked a little creepy.

That big willow looks so much less neglected today. That’s one tree species that prodigiously sprouts random new branches every which way along the full length of its trunk.

Two of the largest and oldest maple trees that have been slowly dying received a different bit of serious pruning as we strive to prolong the glory of their stature on our landscape.

It’s getting to the point there isn’t much left of them. One large limb broke loose last year and landed on the equally large limb just beneath it. I’ve been yearning to take that extra weight off the lower branch but the job was beyond my capacity. Work like this, since there were plenty of other tree issues that deserved attention as well, made it easy to justify bringing in the professionals.

One of the other things we focused on was bringing to the ground any trees that had tipped but didn’t make it all the way down. Nicknamed “widow makers,” they can be tricky to deal with since the entanglement above can lead to unexpected movements of the tree being cut. I was more than happy to leave the stress of that challenge for someone other than me.

As long as they were here, I gave them full permission to cut down any tree that had been marked with red by our DNR Forester who paid a visit several years ago. There were so many marked trees that I haven’t been able to put a dent in the number. Watching how much work it took for a professional to cut them all in one particular section helped me to justify why I haven’t cut them all myself.

Also, it leaves a monumental amount of work to ultimately clean up off the ground, which I chose not to pay them to do. We have an endless supply of chip-able sized trees littering the forest floor now.

There is work enough to keep me busy in the lumberjack role full time. Too bad that I am also the lawn groundskeeper, fence mender, equine fecal relocation specialist, dog walker, home maintenance amateur, hay bale hauler, horse feeder, labyrinth tender, and Stihl power trimmer user extraordinaire.

I only get to do the lumberjack work in my spare time.

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Written by johnwhays

May 14, 2022 at 9:04 am

Tending Growth

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Without firm plans about what we would accomplish yesterday morning, I gassed up the big chainsaw and charged the battery on the hand trimmer chainsaw for a walk through the woods. We had a general goal of bringing down the most obvious trees that have tipped but then got hung up on surrounding limbs, but whatever caught our eyes was fair game.

It’s almost comical at times because Cyndie and I approach things very differently. She is given to focusing on multiple goals simultaneously while I find myself inclined to leave some things for later and head off for the next big tree as she lingers behind to take tending to the next level.

Well off the trail, we came upon two noteworthy finds. It is always surprising to find an isolated old fence post and rusty barbed wire in the middle of the woods.

A remarkably thick and fascinatingly curling vine stem was less surprising but equally unwelcome. We pulled it out to save with visions of conjuring some artistic use for it in the future.

When we emerged from the trees, it was time to tend to the ornamental tall grass up by the shop garage. The old growth gets cut back in early spring. This year we went with an extreme cut in preparation for a plan to try digging into the biggest bundle and dividing it for transplant.

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We don’t even have a plan for where we want to transplant them to next but we’ve got enough options that it will become a challenge to decide where not to add this gorgeous grass. The first challenge will be coping with the bed of rocks the main bundle has grown through.

Good thing I am a patient man.

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Written by johnwhays

April 4, 2022 at 6:00 am