Deforestation Part 2

The Trees

Now that we had decided where the house would sit we could begin selecting trees to remove. We wanted to keep the place as natural as possible but with the house, driveway and septic system, some trees had to go.
We were to find out later we should have taken one more tree down, but that will be another post.

lot with trees down
Some of the smaller trees down

Time Ain’t On My Side

I started out thinking I could just putter away until the lot was clear. I had a hatchet, axe and saw which seemed to work in Rush’s song “The Trees”, but in real life with me providing the elbow grease, it was going to take forever.
I could make some headway chopping and sawing the softwoods but against the larger hardwoods the bucksaw was very slow when it didn’t bind and my axe was causing me a lot of pain.
There are different types of axe for different jobs. The axe I had was one piece of steel with a rubber coating on the steel handle. It was great for brush and small trees but it either bounced off the larger hardwoods or stuck in the trunk of the tree leaving my arms feel as though I had just hit a brick wall.

We decided to rent a chainsaw.

If you ever have to cut trees of any size larger than a couple of inches in diameter, you will want to get a chainsaw or hire someone to cut down the trees. If the wood on your property has enough value some companies will do the work in exchange for the logs. If you do decide to do your own cutting you should get some instruction in the use of all the cutting implements and use all personal safety equipment.
I was employed one winter to clear ski trails and was shown how to use chainsaws and I even had my own cutter’s pants. The pants had fiberglass layers in the legs, which in the event of your saw mistaking your leg for a tree, would tangle in the teeth of the chain, stalling the engine.

The rental chainsaw sped things up a lot but with the number of trees that had to be felled, limbed and cut, Ruth realized it would be cheaper to buy our own, so on my birthday I got a brand new 18” Poulan chainsaw.

Meeting the Neighbors or Disaster Struck

Even though I had experience felling trees, it is dangerous unpredictable work.
Trees can go in the wrong direction in spite of the proper notching and cutting techniques.

I was cutting the last tree of the day. The tree was straight, the air was calm, and I notched the trunk so the tree would fall toward the lake.
A sudden breeze came off the lake and the tree fell back toward the road landing on the power lines.
The tree started to smoke. I thought “the fire will burn right through the trunk and the tree will fall on the road where I can cut and remove it”.
Unfortunately the power line melted and the tree fell on the next power line which also melted.
The power lines ran across the ground trapping our van and stranding us there.

Someone called the power company and we got to talk to our neighbors while watching the lines being repaired. Apparently this had happened to other “lumberjacks” on our road.

Next time … Construction Begins

Whether or not time is on your side you can keep track of it with…


Gnarly tree
Gnarly tree by ladybuglane
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