Dying tree

There’s a tree at the back of my office that is slowly dying. It still has leaves and stuff but there is a massive wound in the bark and it’s rotting from the inside out. Given that it has quite a good chance of falling onto the electricity lines that supply my house I’d rather try and take it down in a controlled fashion than let the wind blow it down.

It’s looking pretty rotten to me

So Oli and I got to work. We rigged up a few bits of climbing rope to hopefully control the tree when it comes to drop.

This was intended to stop it swinging too far away and coming down onto the power lines.
This is a little hard to make out but we have a rolling turn with two half hitches then it goes up around a healthy tree next to it, through the crook of a branch and then down to ground level around another tree with Oli holding onto it. This was designed so that we could slowly lower the tree to the ground in a graceful fashion.
These are the electricity lines that I didn’t want to take down. These lines supply the electricity to the five houses in my little community. I would not be popular if I take them down.

So, with the ropes set up and the chainsaw at the ready we began. It all went pretty well. The chainsaw went through the tree like a hot knife through butter. The final bit of wood was severed and the tree fell in exactly the direction I didn’t want it to.

Yep, that’ll be the tree resting on the power lines then.

Fortunately the rope at the top of the tree took a lot of the weight. I was incredibly lucky. Just a few feet of slack and at least some of those lines would be down and I’d be facing a pretty hefty bill from the electricity people. It was at about this time that Oli remarked “Next time we have to chop a tree down should we get a man in?”. He’s quite wise for his age that one.

You can just make out the climbing rope taking the strain

I kinda ran out of ideas about how to get this tree down without taking out the electricity so I wedged my ladder underneath it to give it some additional support. Turns out to be an utterly genius move and not at all like me!

With the ladder firmly in place I took another chunk out of the bottom of the tree madly hoping that it didn’t then make the bottom half of the tree too light and then pivot the tree over the ladder and into the power lines. Thankfully it didn’t. I then had a tree supported by a climbing rope and pivoting on a ladder. We were able to swing the tree and and have it floating…away from the power lines

Pretty strong for an 11yr old

So between us we swung it around and accidentally destroyed the fence post but managed to get it chopped up into small enough pieces for me to split and burn. It was a pretty intense start to a beautiful Saturday morning.